Aug 18, 2017 News
Several nations have experienced a number of difficulties when dealing with oil giant Exxon Mobil. These challenges, which include the avoidance by ExxonMobil to pay up on royalties and taxes due to nations in several cases, has
seen them being hauled before the courts.
Be that as it may, the Government of Guyana insists that there is no need for the nation to be consumed with fear. In fact, it insists that there should be a sense of ease and relief for a number of reasons, one of which is the fact that the Government is heading in the direction of enhanced capacity and a comprehensive legislative arrangement.
Making this statement was Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan.
At a press conference yesterday, the AFC Chairman was asked to say if his party is satisfied that the Judiciary is prepared for the worse, given ExxonMobil’s behaviour in other territories.
While he did not answer in the affirmative or the negative, Ramjattan commented that he does not see it necessary for a judge to be an oil expert in order to adjudicate on oil and gas matters.
He said, “Indeed, it would be better if you have a judge with experience in that (area), but it is only now that we have found oil and we didn’t know beforehand that we would have found oil in 2017, so that expectation is a bit harsh on our judges. We need to be fair here. The court has an inherent jurisdiction to rely upon experts for guidance on an issue.” Ramjattan said that this is a practice all over the world.
Kaieteur News subsequently clarified that its question never had anything to do with judges being oil and gas experts. This publication said that its question was intended to highlight that several nations had issues with ExxonMobil and when judgments are passed, Exxon, in some cases, did not adhere to those rulings. In short, this publication emphasized that its question was really to ascertain if the AFC is comfortable that Guyana’s judiciary can handle such challenges.
In this regard, Ramjattan said that generally, it is the Executive branch which would ensure the enforcement of judgments.
“Yes we are a small nation and if indeed, theoretically, Exxon behaves how it did in Chad or whatever, we would have to rely on diplomatic and government to government resources to ensure that this big company pays what the court orders and if it does not, then we would have a big problem,” the AFC Chairman opined.
He noted however that this does not mean that the Government should not engage with ExxonMobil.
“We must not allow those theoretical and hypothetical and (in some instances) factual cases, to not allow us to proceed on the cusp of great things that can come from this oil sector.”
Additionally, the AFC Chairman noted that ExxonMobil is an American company, and if it behaves the way it did with some nations, it can be subjected to Senatorial enquiries in the United States.
Ramjattan said that this is a good sign as there are some companies which go abroad, do their dirty work and when they return to their homeland, nothing happens. Instead, these companies are celebrated.
In paying attention to the mistakes of other nations when it comes to oil, Ramjattan reiterated that the Government will be moving in the direction of enhancing its capacity, getting experts on board and arming itself with a comprehensive legislative arrangement.
In this way, he insists that there can only be benefits for all of Guyana.
Jun 23, 2021Kaieteur News – The Guyana Badminton Association Team of President Gokarn Ramdhani, Vice President Ayanna Watson and Secretary Emelia Ramdhani along with National and International Champions...
Kaieteur News – I met Leyland DeCambra at the beginning of the 70s. It was a friendship that has lasted ever since.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders More commonality was shown by CARICOM countries in a vote on Tuesday June 15 at the Organisation of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]