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Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) representative Marco Nicola has said that the justice sector is a key factor in Guyana’s competitiveness programme.He contends that the independence of the judiciary is of utmost importance. Nicola also opined that Guyana’s court rules are outdated.According to the IDB representative, the justice sector is a key factor that investors look for when exploring the possibility of doing business in a country.“They want to be sure that justice is done timely, efficiently and transparently,” Nicola stated.He added that the IDB does not look at the justice sector only from a private sector point of view.“When we agreed with the Government to go into the justice sector, we opened up to all the users of the justice sector, including the citizens of Guyana, so we are looking at the criminal cases, and we are looking at the wider justice sector.”Nicola noted that the first part was the Commercial Court, which is now working. There is also the mediation sector. “That was the first step to open up the confidence in investors. But we are still far away from what we have to achieve. This is an intervention that will take four to seven years to bear fruit.”It is important, Nicola added, that the international community and the private international community appreciate that these efforts are ongoing, so they can start investing, thinking that a few years down the road justice will be administered more efficiently, transparently and timely. Addressing the issue of backlog, which has been an area of interest over the years, Nicola said that backlog cannot be solved by working more, but by changing regulations.“You solve the backlog by changing the regulations and allow judges to use items like a tape recorder which is not allowed now…I think the court rules are very outdated, so once we introduce new court rules, you will reduce the time between filing a case and getting a decision.”Nicola pointed out that the current rules are that the judge has to write the decision by hand, and no one can write it for him.“That’s why they don’t write decisions, so these things are going to change.” He contends that the judge must be able to use a computer and record his decision and have someone else type it.According to Nicola,Wholesale Cheap Jerseys, another problem that is contributing to the backlog is that there are a lot of illicit acts that are still treated as criminal acts, and so they go to court. He added that even if someone does not respect a stop light, that person ends up in court instead of just paying a fine and learning a lesson.He also said that if the person does the same thing on numerous occasions, then take them to court.What happens in some countries, he said, is that the defaulter loses points on his driver’s licence so the person has a few chances before the licence is taken away for a year,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, six months, three months etc.Nicola noted that there is a lack of technology and record keeping in the traffic department, and the IDB intends to work with them.He pointed out that if a traffic rank just gives someone a ticket there is no way of knowing whether the person pays, and that is why people end up in court.“Now, if you have a system whereby you put the ticket in the system, so when you go to licence and registration every year to buy your registration,Cheap Authentic Jerseys, and they see you did not pay, they don’t give it to you.”Technology and communication among institutions must be involved, Nicola stated.The Justice Sector Reform project was recently launched. Nicola said that the project was approved some time back but it suffered some delays,Wholesale Stitched Jerseys, and they are now really getting into the execution of the projectThe justice reform project is IDB-funded but it concerns all the donor communities in terms of stakeholding.He added that the justice sector is very wide and starts from the police, to the DPP, to the Chancellor, to the prison system.“So the justice sector reform looks at two main activities of the Ministry of Legal Affairs; and in the case of criminal justice,Cheap Jerseys Wholesale, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) chambers and the administration of justice by the High Courts, has linkages to the Judicial Services Commission, which is a body of the judiciary that needs to be strengthened in order to comply effectively with the mandate of the administration of justice in Guyana.The IDB, he said, from the judiciary at the policy level, will be looking at independence of the judiciary as one of the priorities.“The independence of the judiciary is of utmost importance.”Nicola also said that the IDB has several other projects that support Guyana’s competitiveness.The competitiveness programme, he added, is intended to strengthen institutions — strengthen the dialogue between the public and private sectors, strengthen Go Invest, the Deeds Registry — all those institutions across the border of the sectors — across the productive sector that the private sector needs to rely on to do business.“We have a very specific project which tackles competitiveness, which is the Agriculture Diversification Project…this is specific on the agriculture sector, and we work specifically on the finance protection of those sub-sectors of the economy.”Nicola said that another intervention which is key to competitiveness is security.He added that security is a factor that investors look at before coming to do business in a country — the cost of securing, the cost of theft, risk of kidnapping.“Security is very important, and that is why we have a security project. It’s part of the competitiveness pillar.”Nicola said that on the competitiveness pillar is the financial sector.“You may have a good criminal justice system, you may have a good security situation, you may have good institutions that provide services to the private sector, but if the financial system in Guyana is not responsive to the needs of the people, then we will have a problem. And this is why we look at a more dynamic financial sector.”
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