Dozens of LLB holders now helping the Police prosecute cases

For years, some criminal cases have been prosecuted in Guyana by Police Officers (prosecutors) who have limited training.

But now, they are being supported by dozens of persons who are holders of a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB).

This was made possible through a new ‘Certificate in Advocacy and Evidence for Summary Courts Prosecutors’ programme launched two years ago by the Ministry of Legal Affairs in collaboration with the University of Guyana (UG).

Already, 29 LLB holders have graduated and are prosecuting cases on behalf on the Police across the magistracy in Regions 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10.

Another nine persons are expected to graduate soon and will be added to the batch of LLB holders who are now certified to prosecute on behalf of the Guyana Police Force and by extension the State.

Participants received training in criminal procedure, criminal law and evidence finding. They now operate as part of the prosecutorial arm of the State under the constitutional supervision of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The course is being funded by the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) through the Support for Criminal Justice System (SCJS) programme to the tune of some US$8 million, with the aim of having trained prosecutors placed at every magistrate’s court.

“This is a new initiative that was never tried anywhere before. We tried it and we are succeeding.

“This is a model program that Caribbean countries would like to emulate. We started it in Guyana, we are the only country in the Caribbean where these persons, LLB practitioners are prosecuting in the magistrates’ courts,” Nandlall said during his Tuesday night ‘Issues in the News’ Facebook programme.

In Guyana, lawyers are only sent to represent the state in high profile cases but through this new programme, Nandlall is confident that that the standard of prosecution will increase and so too will the number of convictions.

A large number of LLB holders will benefit since only 25 graduating Guyanese students are allowed to study at the Hugh Wooding Law School each year.

The new programme will train 71 persons with a LLB from UG who did not further their legal education at any of the regional law schools. From the 71 participants, 35 could be awarded a scholarship to attend the Hugh Wooding Law School or any regional law school, based on their performance during the training.