New Magistrates’ Court open at Vigilance, East Coast Demerara.
UNICEF supports with domestic violence hearing room
Georgetown, Guyana, August 16, 2023 The Supreme Court of Judicature on August 16 commissioned its newly built Vigilance Magistrate Court, East Coast Demerara. This new court was developed under the leadership of the Supreme Court and funded by the government of Guyana.
As part of the partnership on access to justice, UNICEF Guyana provided support for the materials needed for a domestic violence hearing room and pledged its support for equipment needed to support the work on child maintenance.
UNICEF Deputy Representative Irfan Akhtar during brief remarks at the opening congratulated the judiciary and the government of Guyana on the opening of the new court, and for catering for the specialized room for domestic violence survivors.
“This is a perfect example of increasing and expanding the justice system in Guyana. UNICEF works with the judiciary to ensure equitable and child-friendly justice systems. Access to justice for children is central to UNICEF’s mandate and the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of a Child,” Akhtar said.
“It is also key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) particularly SDG 16 on justice, peace and inclusive societies,” he added.
The Deputy Representative reminded that UNICEF is committed to working with the judiciary, the government, local communities and children to ensure that every child can access a justice system that is child friendly, gender sensitive and well equipped to secure their rights.
Commissioning the building was Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, who noted that the event demonstrates the government’s commitment to investing in the reformation of the judicial system.
“Government is very cognisant that with the economic and social transformation taking place in our country, so must the justice system, the rule of law and access to justice, and the government is committed to invest heavily in those areas,” the attorney general said.
Meanwhile, Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards noted that the new court is long overdue, as she highlighted the challenges encountered in the previous building which was constructed in the 1940s.
She extended thanks to UNICEF for the support with the specialised room for the hearing of the domestic domestic violence cases.
The new building, features two court rooms, living quarters, a drug treatment department, domestic violence hearing room, interview rooms for survivors, smart courts and a waiting area. It also features a modern digital payment system for bail and other fees through Mobile Money Guyana (mmg).
The new court is part of the transformation of the justice sector in Guyana and is expected to serve the staff and people of the East Coast areas more efficiently.
In 2021, UNICEF Guyana supported the opening of seven specialised interview and virtual hearing rooms at the Magistrates’ Courts at Weldaad and Blairmont in Region Five and New Amsterdam, Whim, Reliance, No. 51 Village and Springlands in Region Six, and at the Leonora and Wales Magistrates’ Courts in Region Three.
UNICEF has also partnered with the judiciary for the support to the Sexual Offences Courts, Family Court and the creation of the Children’s Court.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.