Find Legal expertise in Guyana
- Legal System
Guyana’s legal system, like most Commonwealth countries in the region, follows the English Common Law tradition. Vestiges of the Roman-Dutch legal system also remain, especially in the areas of land tenure. Summary jurisdiction in lesser civil and criminal cases is exercised in the magistrates’ courts, one in each of the ten regions. Above this, the Supreme Court consists of two divisions the High Court and the Court of Appeal. The High Court is made up of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and ten puisne judges, and possesses both original and appellate jurisdiction. It possesses general jurisdiction in both civil and criminal matters, whilst appeals of High Court rulings go to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has a chancellor, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and as many justices as the National Assembly may prescribe. The chief judicial officer in the country is the chancellor of the Court of Appeal.
The three tier hierarchy of the judicial system used to be completed by the Guyana Court of Appeal. However, in 2005 legislative amendments allowed Guyana’s ratification of the Caribbean Court of Justice, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, establishing it as the final court of appeal. The Attorney General (a cabinet-level minister) has traditional supervisory authority over all criminal prosecutions. The executive president appoints all judges, except the chancellor of the High Court, the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal and the Chief Magistrate. These three judges are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission.
Legal practitioners in Guyana are referred to as attorneys-at-law. Admission to and conduct within the profession is regulated by the Legal Practitioners Act. To become a legal practitioner in Guyana one must be at least 21 years of age and must hold a recognised legal education certificate. Bar association membership is not mandatory for practicing law in Guyana. However a Guyana Bar Association does exist, aiming to protect and promote the interests of the legal profession.
Foreign lawyers may practice in Guyana provided they possess suitable qualifications and that reciprocal treatment would be granted to a Guyanese lawyer to practice in their respective countries. There are a number of law firms, found primarily in urban centres such as Georgetown, New Amsterdam and Linden. Prominent among these is Cameron & Shepherd which is the oldest law firm in Guyana, having been in operation since 1901. Other notable established firms include De Caires, Fitzpatrick and Karran; Fraser, Housty and Yearwood; and Hughes, Fields and Stoby, all based in Georgetown.
Information from the World Economic Forum, The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013
|Legal organisations in Guyana|
|Cameron & Shepherd Solicitors||
|Jamela A. Ali - Attorney-at-Law||
|KA Juman Yassin & Associates||
|Mc Kay and Moore||
|Mr Kashir A.||
|Scotland Dr. Barton A.||