The huge amount of time and money spent behind court cases in Guyana can be avoided if the Laws of Guyana regarding real estate (land, waterways, properties, and deeds) can be better utilized if only the country’s laws can be upgraded to present day standards. It is irrefutable that a vast array of procedures are ambiguous and therefore subjected to several interpretations, as opposed to clear cut provisions. The election fiasco in 2020 is the most salient example, and in the manner of a huge preponderance of cases, ultimately reach the pinnacle jurisprudence in the Apex Caribbean Court of Justice in Trinidad.
Properties are sold without the owner’s knowledge or consent while land titles are transferred in clandestine – yet legal—procedures. Such is the oxymoronic function of an archaic legal system where the guardians of the law are the chief law breakers: Ask any driver who was confronted by the police.
The latest filing in a litany of lawsuits comes on the heels of land awarded through leasehold and a Prospecting License issued, to BK Quarries since 2014. It is unclear how the legal usurping of the property of around 16,000 acres was rescinded and ‘transferred’ to another entity. Seems like the head Geology and Mines Commission (whose ‘expert’ advice on oil has perpetuated horrific consequences) made such a decision all by himself for a quarry worth over US$ 25 million. Clashes for real estate ownership will perpetually dwell throughout the courts–the offshoot of poorly construed laws.
Guyana’s archaic laws are shrouded in ambivalence, controversy and ambiguity and many times are unable to provide for true justice. Notwithstanding, properties under litigation have stymied economic growth. Two sectors of such impotent legislation that need urgent reformation are the Deeds Registry and Traffic Offence Procedures which has seen the latter as a toothless Doberman where the death of a person is classified as ‘Causing Death by Dangerous Driving’ instead of Vehicular Manslaughter. Additionally, such killings that occur while drivers are intoxicated should upgrade to ‘Criminal Homicide’. With modern efficient Laws, coupled with rational sentencing the society will save billions wasted on litigation.
Leyland Chitlall Roopnaraine