GEORGETOWN, Guyana, August 3, 2018 (CMC) — The President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Adrian Saunders, says the rule of law and the regional court will play an important part, in making sure the benefits of Guyana’s emerging oil and gas sector are widespread and sustainable.
Saunders, speaking at the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Business Luncheon, yesterday, noted that the “CCJ has particular relevance to Guyana at this time, as the country is poised for a significant economic takeoff…the economic prospect of this country could easily make it the envy of its CARICOM sister states, and some Latin American states as well.
“…the basic ingredients are present for this to occur, your large and fertile landmass, your oil deposits, and precious metals, the abundance of rivers and country’s natural beauty.”
This economic progress, he said, can be thwarted or it can be significantly enhanced with good governance and faithful adherence to the rule of law. The rule of law, in this sense, implies, legal accountability, fairness, respect for minorities, the observance of human rights, judicial independence, separation of powers and equality.
Saunders pointed out that, ultimately, the people will look to the CCJ and the courts, in Guyana, for setting appropriate standards in these matters.
“In a multicultural and multi-ethnic society, as Guyana is, those courts will have a special responsibility to ensure equality of treatment,” he explained.
Saunders said that adherence to the rule of law will increase business confidence, attract investments and ensure respect for, and enforcement of, property rights and freedoms. An important feature of the rule of law, Justice Sanders reminded his audience, is ensuring proper access to the courts and justice, and the CCJ has an enormous stake in this goal.
He noted that dialogue, such as this luncheon, was very important as it provides a welcome opportunity for the judges to learn and understand the culture and values of Guyana, and therefore, help create accurate, sensitive and fair decision-making.
GMSA’s President, Shyam Nokta, said that being physically removed from most of its jurisdictions, the relevance and importance of the CCJ may feel disconnected for many societies. However, in recent times, Guyanese have been paying a lot of attention to CCJ and its decisions.
Judicial independence and expediency are crucial to national development, Nokta stressed. He said by providing a final tier of appeal, the CCJ, since its establishment, has played a significant role in upholding the rule of law.
As it relates, to the relevance of the CCJ to the private sector in Guyana, Nokta noted that accessing regional markets through the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), had been very challenging over the past years, and with the emerging oil and gas industry, these issues will continue to attract the attention of the CCJ.