House paves way for new categories of evidence to be admitted in court
On one of those occasions when things flow smoothly in the National Assembly, government and the two opposition parties agreed to amend the law governing evidence which could be admitted in court. Matters of child support to the smuggling of fuel were frustrated because certain documents such as a DNA results, could not be admitted in court without the presence of the person signing those documents. Only medical and post mortem reports are currently allowed, but once the law takes effect, a whole new category of evidence could be tendered in court, once the document is signed by an expert or analyst.
The Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall detailed the list of persons from whom signed documents would be accepted, according to the new Act. Leader of the Alliance for Change Khemraj Ramjattan, while offering his support, urged caution, and called on the government to ensure that the persons whom the Minister authorises to sign documents admitted in court are persons whose reputations are not under question or come from agencies that could be compromised.
The Bill seeks to take into account the establishment of the Guyana Forensic Laboratory and to allow for documents from that lab to be admitted in court. The amendments should have come since last June, but the Opposition voted it down the amendments because of its lack of confidence in the Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee. The government re-tabled the amendments, but this time through the Attorney General.