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New $294M Vigilance Magistrates’ Court for easier access to justice for thousands

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The new $294 million Vigilance Magistrates’ Court, which was inaugurated on Wednesday, is expected to make it simpler for thousands of citizens living along the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) to seek justice. In comparison to the previous concrete building, the new court is significantly larger and more contemporary. Two Magistrates will also be able to fit inside.

Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards, Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), observed that the outdated building, which was constructed in the 1940s, was simply unable to accommodate the increasing number of litigants and the visitors who accompany them to court. Beyond resolving spacing concerns, she noted that the new edifice is part of efforts to provide improved access to justice.

It is for that reason probation and social services, domestic violence support and the drug treatment court services will all be offered at this facility. There are designated rooms for these services. Further, the court’s services, starting with its notices, are being digitized. Soon, there will be digital records available and persons would be able to make payments online.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC highlighted that the government supports the judiciary’s efforts to improve access to justice. As such, funds were made available to construct this facility and many others like it. “…This certainly is not an isolated edifice and investment,” he said.

He also noted that the government is creating an enabling framework to allow for legal services to be delivered more efficiently. That includes crafting and passing new legislation to accommodate digital services.






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