The Georgetown Supreme Court marked yet another historic feat yesterday as the new wing which will accommodate operations of the Land Court and the Family Court, was declared opened.
The event was attended by several distinguished members of the Judiciary and the Executive, including President David Granger; Chief Justice, (Ag) Roxanne George; Attorney General, Basil Williams; and former Chancellor of the Judiciary (rtd) Justice Carl Singh.
The Land Court was established to deal with matters relating to property (Transport and Title) disputes and other civil court matters. The project is said to be part of the capacity of the justice system expansion programme.
The idea was for all the various divisions of the High Court to be housed in one compound.
The way was cleared for the Family Court in 2008 and subsequent budgetary allocations were made for the project; the construction of a new quarter to house the Land Court.
In his address President Granger reiterated his commitment towards ensuring the independence of the judiciary. The President noted that under his administration the necessary steps were taken to ensure that the Judiciary is financially independent.
The President lauded the judicial administration for its work, the upkeep of their arm of governance and improving the administration of justice in Guyana.
Chancellor of the Judiciary (Ag), Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards said that the new wing comprises three Civil Courts and the Land Court which will operate out of two courtrooms. The Land Court divisions will also be equipped with its own Registry.
Commenting on the history of the Land Court, Chancellor Cummings -Edwards noted that the division of the High Court, has come full circle.
“It was first housed in the Maraj Building next door (the pink building at the corner of Charlotte and King Streets).
“Then it went to share premises in Brickdam with the offices of the Police Complaints Authority, Office of the Ombudsman, Public Service Appellate Tribunal and the Bar Association and the Guyana Association of Women Lawyers.”
The Land Court has come home to take its place next to the new Family Court “and other divisions of the High Court.”
Justice Cummings-Edwards lauded former Chancellor of the Judiciary, (rtd) Justice Carl Singh, for his efforts towards establishing the new wing to house the operations of the Land Court.
“It gives me great pleasure to be part of what would be recorded in the annals of the history of the Supreme Court of Guyana – the opening of the new wing of the High Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature.”
“This allows for easier physical access to justice for the litigant and Attorneys-at-law, easier management of the Court and the registries and saving of costs and expenses.”
The Chancellor said, too, that steps have been taken for the new wing to accommodate courtrooms with modern technology, “as we are hoping to have, in the not too distant future, an E-Judiciary.”
“This is indeed a new era for the High Court in Georgetown. We see this new building as the start of a modern era involving changes which will improve access to justice, delivery and dispensation of justice,” Justice Cummings-Edwards added. (Rehanna Ramsay)
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