9 new magistrates take the oath of office

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Prime Minister, Brigadier Retired Mark Phillips with the nine new magistrates that were sworn in today

Nine new magistrates took the oath of office to serve the people of Guyana and to tackle the backlog of cases at the level of magistracy on Wednesday morning in a simple but significant ceremony.

They took their oaths of office before the Prime Minister, Brigadier Retired Mark Phillips who was in the presence of Chief Justice Roxanne George and Head of the Judicial Service Commission Ret’d Carl Singh among others.

The nine magistrates are Omadatt Chandan, Tameika Clarke, Abigail Gibbs, Tuanna Hardy, Shivani Lalaram, Michelle Mattias, Ravindra Mohabir, Teriq Mohammed and Orinthia Schmidt.

Prime Minister Phillips told the new magistrates that their office is important to Guyana while urging them to be fair efficient and effective in the execution of their duties.

“I wish to first of all advice that you must accord the highest priority to this portfolio which requires objectivity, neutrality, this is a portfolio that prohibits you from being influenced by any other consideration, other than by the evidence and the law before you,” he noted.

Prime Minister Phillips reminded that all are equal in the eyes of the law. He was adamant that citizens must be accorded equal treatment in accordance with the law.

He also noted complaints from members of the public about the slothfulness of the legal system with cases pending before the court for long periods.

He is hopeful that this new addition of magistrates will help.

“While I recognize that the system is burdened, with a heavy case load, I also recognize the truism in the old adage that, all of us are accustomed to hearing that Justice Delayed is justice denied I sincerely hope that this addition of nine newly minted temporary magistrates to the compliment of our magistracy will bring greater speed to the conclusion to the cases before our legal system,” PM Phillips stated.

He noted too, that government continues to work with the judiciary by providing the requisite resources to ensure greater efficiency.

“There are no less than eight magistrate courts that are under construction or renovation somewhere in Guyana, most of these courts are in locations that never had courts before, the new magistrate courts will be constructed as edifices that accommodate more than one court at a single location,” he said.

Also, an e-filing system will be launched in the magistracy to allow for the electronic filing of criminal charges and other proceedings to ensure greater dispatch and speed in the legal system.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall S.C. and other members of the Judicial Service Commission were among those present at the swearing in ceremony.