Chapter 002:01 - Interpretation and General Clauses

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/420-chapter-201-interpretation-and-general-clauses/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
INTERPRETATION AND GENERAL CLAUSES ACT
CHAPTER 2:01
Act
8 of 1970
Amended by
4 of 1972 O. 80/1980 31 of 1974 27
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10
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Current Authorised Pages
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Index
of
Subsidiary Legislation

This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
A considerable number of the delegations made under this Act are now obsolete and a
comprehensive review of all delegations is now being undertaken, consequently, all instruments of
delegation have been omitted from this publication.

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CHAPTER 2:01
INTERPRETATION AND GENERAL CLAUSES ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION PART I
SHORT TITLE
1. Short title.
PART II
APPLICATION TO THE STATE
2. Act binding on State.
PART III
APPLICATION TO LAWS
3. Application of this Act
PART IV
INTERPRETATION OF TERMS
4. Definition subject to context. Cognate expressions.
EXPRESSIONS IN GENERAL USE
5. Definition of expressions.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
Rules relating to particular periods.
Certain expressions in written law and public documents
Reference to the President; the Minister.
Reference to diplomatic or consular officer.
Meaning of “service by post”.
Meaning of “rules of court”.
Mode of presenting or laying document before National
Assembly.
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SECTION

12.
13.
14.


15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.


25.
26.
27.
28.
PART V
AMENDED LAWS
References in a written law to another written law.
Amended Act referred to as “the Principal Act”.
Effect of repeal of an amended written law.
PART VI
PUBLICATION, COMMENCEMENT AND CITATION OF
ACTS
Publication and Commencement of Acts.
Time of coming into operation of Acts.
Mode of citing Acts.
PART VII
OPERATION OF ACTS
Judicial notice of Acts.
Every section of an Act a substantive enactment.
PART VIII
SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION
Provisions relating to subsidiary legislation.
Publication of subsidiary legislation. Retrospective operation.
Meaning of negative and affirmative resolution.
References and terms in subsidiary legislation.
Application of certain sections to subsidiary legislation.
PART IX
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS
Exercise of powers between passing and coming into operation of
Act.
Construction of provisions as to exercise of functions.
Delegation of functions.
Effect of delegation of functions.
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SECTION

29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.
35.
36.
37.

38.
39.
40.
41.
42.
43.
44.
PART X
APPOINTMENTS, BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND
CORPORATIONS
Powers incidental to appointment of boards, etc.
Establishment of corporate bodies.
Continuance in office after dissolution of Parliament.
Power of majority.
PART XI
LAW OFFICERS
Functions of Attorney-General may be performed by Solicitor-
General.
Functions of Director of Public Prosecutions may be performed by
Assistant.
Vesting of rights, privileges etc. in Director of Public Prosecutions.
Functions of State Solicitor to be performed by Deputy State
Solicitor.
Evidence of signature of Attorney-General and Director of
Public Prosecutions.
PART XII
TIME AND DISTANCE
(1) Standard time.
(3) Power to amend or modify other enactments.
Provision where no time prescribed.
Computation of time.
Power to extend time.
Rules as to time or manner of submitting public accounts or issuing
licences.
Measurement of distance.
PART XIII
OFFENCES, PENALTIES AND PROSECUTIONS
Liability for offence by corporate body.
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SECTION
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.
53.
54.

55.
56.
57.
58.
59.
60.
61.
62.
Penalties deemed to be maximum penalties.
Penalties may be cumulative or alternative.
Offence under two or more laws.
PART XIV
APPLIED LAWS
Construction of applied laws.
Reference to applied laws.
Citation or description of a portion of an applied Act.
PART XV
REPEAL OF WRITTEN LAW
Effect of substitutionary provisions.
Effect of repeal of repealing written law.
References to repealed law or to re-enacted law.
Savings in cases of repeal.
PART XVI
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS RELATING TO WRITTEN
LAW
Saving rights of the State.
Acts for benefit of particular persons.
Division of written law into Parts, Preamble, Schedule, etc.
Deviation in forms.
Citation of another written law.
Ex-officio proceeding not to abate on death, etc.
Change of title.
Affirmation instead of oath.
__________________________

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8 of 1970.
CHAPTER 2:01
INTERPRETATION AND GENERAL CLAUSES ACT
An Act to consolidate the law relating to the construction
and interpretation of Acts of Parliament, Subsidiary
Legislation, applied Laws and Public documents and to
make general provisions for matters connected with
or similar to the purposes aforesaid.
[23RD FEBRUARY,1970]
PART I
SHORT TITLE
Short title.

Act binding
on
State.

Application
of this Act.
[O.80 /1980]
1. This Act may be cited as the Interpretation and
General Clauses Act.
PART II
APPLICATION TO THE STATE
2. This Act shall be binding on the State.
PART III
APPLICATION TO LAWS
3. (1) This Act shall not apply to the constitutional
instruments (save as thereby required) and to applied laws,
and, notwithstanding the definitions of “written law” and
“Act” in section 5 (but save as required as aforesaid), the
expressions “written law” and “Act” in this Act shall not
include the constitutional instruments and applied laws.
(2) Subject to subsection (1), this Act shall, unless it is
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Definitions
subject to
context.

Cognate
expressions.

Definition
of
expressions.
[4 of 1972
O. 80 /1980
6 of 1981]
c. 2:03
c. 3:02
otherwise expressly provided, apply to this Act and to all
written law whether made before or after the coming into
operation of this Act.
PART IV
INTERPRETATION OF TERMS
4. (1) Where expressions are defined in or for the
purposes of or used in any written law or public document,
such expressions shall have the meanings assigned to them,
unless there is anything in the subject or context repugnant to
or inconsistent with such meaning.
(2) Where a word is defined in or for the
purposes of any written law or public document, other parts of
speech and grammatical variations of that word and
cognate expressions shall have corresponding meanings in
or for the purposes of such written law or public document.
Expressions in general use
5. (1) In any written law and in any public document—
“acre” means English acre;
“Act” means any Act of Parliament whether passed before or
after the coming into operation of this Act and
includes an Ordinance passed by a legislature of the
former Colony of British Guiana and includes a
resolution, Act or Ordinance within the meaning of
the Statute Law Continuation Ordinance and an
applied Act;
“admiralty jurisdiction” means such admiralty jurisdiction as
was vested in the Supreme Court of Judicature of
Guyana on 22nd February, 1970;
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c. 1:01

c. 1:01

c. 1:01
c. 1:01
“amend” includes add to, partially repeal and partially or
completely replace;
“applied Act” means an Act of Parliament of the United
Kingdom, having effect or having had effect as part of
the law of Guyana;
“applied law” means an applied Act and any legislative
instrument (other than the constitutional instruments)
made thereunder otherwise than by an authority in
Guyana, having effect or having had effect as part of the
law of Guyana;
“Chancellor” means the Chancellor as referred to in Chapter
XI of the Constitution;
“Chief Justice” means the Chief Justice as referred to in
Chapter XI of the Constitution;
“Commonwealth” has the meaning assigned to it by the
Constitution;
“Commonwealth country” means Guyana or any country to
which article 47 of the Constitution for the time being
applies;
“Commonwealth territory” means a Commonwealth country
or a dependency of a Commonwealth country;
“Constitutional instruments” means the Constitution of the
Constitution set out in the Schedule thereto;
“the Constitution” means the Constitution set out in the
Schedule to the Constitution of the Co-operative
time;
Co-operative Republic of Guyana Act and the
Republic of Guyana Act as amended from time to
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“Court of Appeal” means the Court of Appeal of the Supreme
Court of Judicature established by the Constitution;
“dependency” includes a protected State, a protectorate and a
trust territory administered under the trusteeship system
of the United Nations;
“District Commissioner” means the commissioner of a district
appointed under the District Government Act and
every assistant commissioner of a district;
“enactment” means an Act of Parliament or an applied Act and
does not include subsidiary legislation;
“financial year” means, in respect of any matters relating to the
revenue and expenditure of Guyana, Sea Defence Board,
or any other public body, or in respect of the issue,
duration, payment, or expiry of any licence required under
any past or future written law, the twelve months
beginning on the 1st January in any year;
“function” includes power and duty;
“the Gazette” means the Official Gazette of Guyana;
“Georgetown” and “Georgetown City Council” have the
respective meanings assigned to these expressions in the
Municipal and District Councils Act;
“the Government” means the Government of Guyana;
“Guyana” has the meaning assigned by articles 1, 2 and 232(1)
of the Constitution;
“High Court” means the High Court of the Supreme Court of
Judicature established by the Constitution;

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c. 28:01
“local democratic organ” or “local government authority”
means any authority responsible for the Government of
any area by virtue of any Act relating to local Government;
“made”, when used in relation to written law, includes passed
and enacted;
“New Amsterdam” and “New Amsterdam Town Council”
have the respective meanings assigned to these
expressions in the Municipal and District Councils Act;
“or”, “other”, and “otherwise” shall be construed disjunctively
and not as implying similarity, unless the expression
“similar”, or some equivalent expression, is added;
“Parliament”, where the written law in which the expression
occurs was made after 26th May, 1966, means the
Parliament of Guyana;
“peace officer” includes any magistrate or justice of the peace,
and any police, rural or special constable;
“per cent” means “per centum” and when used in relation to a
rate of interest payable in any circumstances, means the
rate of interest specified payable in respect of a year,
unless it is expressly provided that it is payable in respect
of any other period;
“person” includes anybody of persons corporate or
unincorporate and, without prejudice to the provisions of
section 55, includes the State;
“police constable” includes any member of the Guyana Police
Force;
“prescribed” or “provided”, when used in or with reference to
any Act, means prescribed or provided by that Act or,
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c. 19:07
where appropriate, by subsidiary legislation made
under that Act;
“proclamation” means a proclamation of the President under
the public seal;
“public account” includes any estimate of revenue and
expenditure and any statement, summary or account of
the Government, or the Sea Defence Board or any other
public body mentioned in a written law;
“public office”, “public officer” and “public service” have the
meanings respectively assigned to them by article 232
of the Constitution;
public holiday” means public holiday within the meaning of
the Public Holiday Act;
“public lands” means all lands vested in the State (whether as
State lands or as Government lands) or vested in any
person in trust for the State;
“repeal” includes rescind, revoke or cancel;
“Service Commission” means the Public Service Commission,
the Police Service Commission, the Teaching Service
Commission or the Judicial Service Commission, as the
case may be, established by the Constitution and in
relation to any office, includes any authority having the
power to make appointments or to exercise disciplinary
control over persons holding or acting in that office;
“the State” means the State of Guyana;
“subsidiary legislation” or “statutory instrument” means any
proclamation, rule, regulation, order, by-law,
resolution, notice, notification, direction or other
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c. 1:01
1973 Ed.
c. 49:01

References to
Part, section,
etc., of Act
and to
instrument, made under or by virtue of any Act, and
having legislative effect; and “rule” includes rule of
court;
“Summary Jurisdiction Acts” or “Summary Jurisdiction
Ordinances” means any Acts and Ordinances for the
time being in force regulating the summary jurisdiction
of magistrates in respect of criminal and quasi-criminal
offences and matters and appeals from decision of
magistrates;
“Supreme Court” means the Supreme Court of Judicature
established by the Constitution;
“words” includes figures, punctuation marks, and
typographical, monetary and mathematical symbols;
“written law” means the constitutional instruments, Acts of
Parliament, subsidiary legislation and applied laws.
(2) In any written law and in any public document, the
expression “Commonwealth ship” has the meaning assigned to
the expression “British ship” in the law applied to Guyana by
the Merchant Shipping Act.
(3) In any written law or in any public document a
reference to writing shall be construed as including
references to printing, lithography, typewriting, photography,
and other modes of representing or reproducing words in
visible form.
(4) A power to repeal conferred by any written law
includes a power to amend.
(5) (a) Where in any Act reference is made to a Part,
division, section, schedule or form without anything in the
context to indicate that a reference to a Part, division, section,
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subsection or
other division
of section, etc.


Rules
relating to
particular
periods.
schedule or form of some other Act is intended, the reference
shall be construed as a reference to the Part, division, section,
schedule or form of the Act in which the reference is made.
(b) Where in a section or other provision of any
Act reference is made to a subsection, paragraph, subparagraph
or other division without anything in the context to indicate
that a reference to a subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or
other division of some other section is intended, the reference
shall be construed as a reference to the subsection, paragraph,
subparagraph or other division of the section in which the
reference is made and this subsection shall apply mutatis
mutandis to subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs and
other divisions.
6. (1) In any written law made after 8th March, 1856,
and in any public document made or executed after 15th July,
1891, unless the context otherwise requires—
(a) words importing the masculine gender
shall include females;
(b) words in the singular shall include the
plural and words in the plural shall
include the singular;
(c) “month” means calendar month.
(2) The meaning of the word “lands” in any
Ordinance passed after the 8th March, 1856, and before the 15th
July, 1891, shall not be affected by this Act.
(3) In any written law and in any public document
made after 23rd February, 1970, unless the context otherwise
requires, a reference to the State, in so far as it relates to any
period prior to that date, shall be construed as a reference to the
Crown.
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Cap. 5
1953 Ed.

Reference to
the
President,
the Minister,
etc.
[4 of 1972
O. 80 of 1980]

Reference to
diplomatic or
consular
officer.
(4) In any written law made before the coming into
operation of this Act, the expression “statute” shall continue to
have the same meaning as under the Interpretation Ordinance,
1891 (now repealed).
Special provisions relating to certain expressions
7. In any written law or in any public document—
(a) a reference to “the President” (however
expressed) shall be construed as a reference to
the President of Guyana for the time being;
(b) a reference to “the Minister” shall be
construed as a reference to the person
assigned or charged under article 107 of the
Constitution with responsibility for the
subject matter of such law or document and a
certificate by the President as to the person
assigned or charged with such responsibility
shall be conclusive for all purposes;
(c) a reference to “the Ministry” shall be
construed as a reference to the business of the
Government of Guyana under the
administration of the Minister, or any part
thereof as the President may direct as
constituting a Ministry, and a reference to
“the Permanent Secretary” shall be construed
as a reference to the permanent secretary to
the Ministry.
8. (1) A reference in any written law to a diplomatic or
consular officer or representative of the Government of Guyana
in any country shall include a reference to the corresponding
diplomatic or consular officer or representative of any State
specified for the purposes of this section by the President by
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c. 18:01

Meaning of
“service by
post”.
[4 of 1972]
notice in the Gazette.
(2) In any written law the expressions defined in
Article 1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and
Article 1 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations as
respectively set out in the First and Second Schedules to the
Privileges and Immunities (Diplomatic, Consular, and
International Organisations) Act shall unless the context
otherwise requires have the respective meanings assigned to
these expressions in the said Articles.
9. Where any written law expressly or impliedly
authorises or requires any document to be served by post,
whether the expression “serve”, “give”, or “send”, or any other
expression is used, then, unless the context otherwise requires,
the service may be effected by properly addressing, pre-paying,
and posting a letter containing the document, and, unless the
contrary is proved, the service shall be deemed to have been
effected at the time at which the letter would be delivered in the
ordinary course of post:
Provided that—
(a) where the Postmaster General places
for delivery—
(i) the letter; or
(ii) in the case of a registered letter, a
notice that the letter is awaiting
delivery;
in the private letter box of the addressee of the letter, then
service of the document shall be deemed to have been effected
on the day after the letter or the notice, as the case may be, was
placed or would in the ordinary course of post be placed in the
letter box;

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Meaning of
“rules of
court”.
[4 of 1972]
Mode of
presenting
or laying
document
before
National
Assembly.
[4 of 1972]
References in
a written law
to another
written law.

Amended
Act referred
(b) when the place to which the letter is
addressed is one in which there is no
house to house delivery of letters,
service shall not be deemed to have
been effected unless—

10. (1) In any written law, unless the context otherwise
requires, “rules of court”, when used in relation to any court,
means rules made by the authority having for the time being
power to make rules or orders regulating the practice and
procedure of that court.
(2) The power of the authority to make rules of
court as hereinbefore defined includes a power to make rules
of court for the purpose of any written law directing or
authorising anything to be done by rules of court.
11. Where any law requires any document to be
presented to or laid before the National Assembly such law
shall be construed as requiring such document to be presented
to or laid before the Assembly in accordance with the standing
Rules and Orders of the Assembly.
PART V
AMENDED LAWS
12.(1) A reference in any written law to any other
written law shall be construed as a reference to such other
written law as the same may be amended from time to time.
(2) Any written law which amends another written
law shall be read and construed as one with the amended
written law.
13. In an amending Act the amended Act may be
referred to as “the Principal Act” and this subsection shall
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to as “the
Principal
Act”.
Effect of
repeal of an
amended
written law.

Publication
and
commence-
ment of Acts.

Time of
coming into
operation of
Acts.
[4 of 1972]
Mode of
citing of
Acts.


Judicial
notice of
Acts.
[4 of 1972]
Every
section of
an Act a
substantive
enactment.
apply mutatis mutandis to subsidiary legislation.

14. Where any written law which has been amended
by any other written law is repealed, such repeal shall include
the repeal of all those provisions of such other written law by
which such first-mentioned written law was amended.
PART VI
PUBLICATION, COMMENCEMENT AND CITATION OF
ACTS
15. Every Act shall be published in the Gazette and
shall come into operation on the date of publication unless it is
provided in that Act or some other written law that it shall
come into operation on some other date.
16. Where any Act is expressed to come into
operation on a particular day, it shall be construed as coming
into operation immediately on the expiration of the previous
day.
17. Where any Act contains a short title, it shall be
sufficient in all courts and for all purposes to cite the Act by the
short title.
PART VII
OPERATION OF ACTS
18. Every Act shall be a public Act and shall be
judicially noticed as such, unless the contrary is expressly
provided by the Act.
19. (1) Every section of an Act shall have effect as a
substantive enactment without introductory words.
(2) An Act may be altered, amended or repealed
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Provisions
relating to
subsidiary
legislation.
[4 of 1972
6 of 1997]
in the same session of Parliament in which it is enacted.
PART VIII
SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION
20. (1) Where any written law confers power on any
authority to make subsidiary legislation, the following
provisions shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have
effect with reference to the making and operation of such
subsidiary legislation—
(a) where subsidiary legislation purports
to be made in exercise of a particular
power, it shall be deemed also to be
made in exercise of all other powers
thereunto enabling;
(b) no subsidiary legislation shall be
inconsistent with the provisions of any
Act;
(c) where subsidiary legislation is in
excess of the power under which it is
made, it shall nevertheless be valid to
the extent to which it is not in excess of
that power;
(d) any subsidiary legislation may at
any time be amended, suspended or
revoked by the same authority and in
the same manner by and in which it
was made:
Provided that where such authority has been
replaced wholly or in part by another authority, the power
conferred upon the original authority may be exercised by the
substituted authority concerning all matters or things within its
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Publication
of
Subsidiary
Legislation.
jurisdiction as if it were the original authority;
(e) here may be annexed to the breach of any
rule, regulation, by-law or order, any
penalty not exceeding nineteen thousand
five hundred dollars recoverable on
summary conviction and in the case of a
continuing offence a further penalty of one
thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars for
each day during which the offence continues.
(2) Where in any written law a provision conferring
a power to make subsidiary legislation is amended or replaced
by any written law but the written law containing such
provision is not itself repealed, then all subsidiary legislation
made under the provision and in force at the time of such
amendment or substitution shall, unless the context otherwise
requires and so far as it is capable of being made under the
amended or the substituted provision, continue in force as if
made under such provision, subject to amendment or repeal by
subsidiary legislation made under such provision.
(3) The provisions of this section shall, so far as they
are applicable, apply to appointments made, to permissions,
licences, certificates and other documents issued and to any acts
or things done or granted under a power conferred by any
written law as they apply to subsidiary legislation.
21. (1) All proclamations, rules, regulations, orders and
by-laws shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into
operation on the date of publication unless it is otherwise
expressly provided that they shall come into operation on some
other date.
(2) Statutory instruments other than those specified
in subsection (1) need not be published unless expressly
required by the Act conferring power to make them, and,
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Retrospective
operation.
Meaning of
negative and
affirmative
resolution.
[4 of 1972]
whether published or not, such instruments shall come into
operation at the time of their making or at such other time as
may be specified therein.
(3) Subsidiary legislation may be made to operate
retrospectively to any date which is not earlier than the coming
into operation of the Act under which the subsidiary legislation
is made:
Provided that no person shall be made or shall become
liable to any penalty whatsoever in respect of any act
committed or the failure to do anything before the date on
which such subsidiary legislation was published in the Gazette.
22. (1) The expression “subject to negative resolution
of the National Assembly” when used in relation to the making
of subsidiary legislation shall mean that such subsidiary
legislation shall be laid before the National Assembly with all
convenient speed after the making thereof and if the National
Assembly within such period as shall be prescribed by the
standing orders of the Assembly resolves—
(a) that the subsidiary legislation shall be
annulled, the subsidiary legislation
shall be void as from the date of the
resolution;
(b) that the subsidiary legislation shall
have effect subject to specified
amendments, the subsidiary legislation
shall have effect subject to such
amendments;
but without prejudice to the validity of anything done under
the annulled or amended legislation or to the making of new
subsidiary legislation, and the resolution shall be published by
the Clerk of the National Assembly as soon as practicable in
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References
and terms
in
subsidiary
legislation.

Application
of certain
sections to
subsidiary
legislation.

Exercise of
powers
between
passing and
coming into
the Gazette.
(2) The expression “subject to affirmative
resolution of the National Assembly” used in relation to the
making of subsidiary legislation shall mean that such
subsidiary legislation shall not have the force of law unless
and until affirmed by a resolution of the National Assembly
and if affirmed shall have effect subject to any amendments
that may be embodied in the resolution.
23. (1) Any reference in subsidiary legislation to “the
Act” shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed
as a reference to the Act under which such subsidiary
legislation was made.
(2) In any written law a reference to an Act shall,
unless the context otherwise requires, be deemed to include a
reference to any subsidiary legislation made under the Act to
which reference was made.
(3) Terms and expressions used in subsidiary
legislation shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have
the same meaning as in the Act under which such subsidiary
legislation was made.
24. Sections 5, 16 and 17 shall apply, mutatis mutandis
and so far as they are not inapplicable, to subsidiary
legislation as they apply to Acts.
PART IX
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS
25. Where in any Act which is not to come into
operation immediately on the publication thereof, there is
conferred—
(a) a power to make, or a power
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operation of
Act.
[4 of 1972]
Construction
of provisions
as to exercise
of functions.
[4 of 1972]
exercisable by making, subsidiary
legislation; or
(b) a power to make appointments; or
(c) a power to do any other thing under
or for the purposes of the Act;
that power may be exercised at any time after the date of
publication of the Act:
Provided that no subsidiary legislation,
appointment, act or thing done under that power shall, unless it
is necessary to bring the Act into operation, have any effect
until the Act comes into operation.
26. (1) Where any written law confers a power or
imposes a duty, the power may be exercised and the duty shall
be performed from time to time as occasion requires.
(2) Where any written law confers a power or
imposes a duty on the holder of an office, the power may be
exercised and the duty shall be performed by the holder for the
time being of the office or by a person appointed to act for him
or by a person lawfully performing the functions of such office.
(3) Where under any written law any authority or
person is empowered to appoint a person—
(a) to perform any function; or
(b) to be a member of any board, tribunal,
commission, committee or similar
body; or
(c) to be or do any other thing;

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Delegation
of
functions.
[4 of 1972
10 of 1986]
that authority may make the appointment either by
appointing a person by name or by appointing the holder of
an office by the term designating his office.
(4) Where provision is made by any law for the
appointment of a person to perform any function in the
public service, then notwithstanding that the law constitutes
an office for the purpose, the Minister may, if he is of the
opinion that the functions involved do not warrant the
constitution of a public office for the purpose, designate the
holder of an existing public office to perform those functions.
27. (1) Where any written law confers any function on
the President, a Minister or a specified public officer, the
President, the Minister or the specified public officer may, by
order, delegate any other public officer to exercise such
function on his behalf and thereupon or from the date
specified, the person delegated shall have and may exercise
such function.
(2) Where any written law confers any function on
a public officer, the Minister responsible for the
administration of the Ministry to which the public officer
belongs may by order delegate any other officer to exercise
that function.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3A),
nothing in subsection (1) or subsection (2) shall authorise the
President, any Minister or any specified public officer to
delegate any person to make subsidiary legislation or to hear
any appeal.
(3A) The President may delegate a Minister or a
Parliamentary Secretary to make subsidiary legislation or to
hear any appeal on his behalf.
(4) In this section “public officer” includes the
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Effect of
delegation
of
functions.
President, a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary and
“specified public officer” means the person for the time being
holding any public office which has been specified, either
generally or for the purposes of a particular Act, under this
section by the President by notice in the Gazette.
28. (1) Where any written law confers power on any
person to delegate the exercise on his behalf of any function
conferred upon him under any written law—
(a) such delegation shall not preclude
the person so delegating from
exercising the functions so delegated;
(b) such delegation may be conditional,
qualified or limited in such manner as
the person so delegating may think fit;
(c) where the delegation may be made
only with the approval of some person,
such delegation may be conditional,
qualified or limited in such manner as
the person whose approval is required
may think fit; and
(d) the delegation may be to a named
person or to the person for the time
being holding any office designated by
the person so delegating.
(2) The delegation of any power shall be deemed to
include the delegation of any duty incidental thereto or
connected therewith and the delegation of any duty shall be
deemed to include the delegation of any power incidental
thereto or connected therein.
(3) This section shall apply mutatis mutandis to a
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Powers
incidental to
appointment
of boards, etc.
delegation under section 27(2), except that if the Minister so
directs, the delegation shall preclude the public officer on
whom the function was conferred by the written law from
exercising the function.
PART X
APPOINTMENTS
BOARDS, COMMITTEES AND CORPORATIONS
29. (1) Where any written law confers a power or
imposes a duty upon any person to make any appointment or
to constitute or establish any board then the person having such
power or duty shall, unless the context otherwise requires, also
have power—
(a) to remove, suspend, dismiss, revoke
the appointment of, or grant leave of
absence to, any person appointed in
the exercise of such power or duty and
to reappoint or reinstate such person;
(b) to appoint a qualified person to act
temporarily for any person appointed
who is unable to perform his functions
through absence or illness or other
cause or to appoint a qualified person
for the unexpired term of office of any
person whose office becomes vacant
by reason of resignation, dismissal,
death or any other cause;
(c) to specify the period for which any
person appointed in exercise of such
power or duty shall hold such
appointment:
Provided that where the first-mentioned power or duty
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is only exercisable upon the recommendation or is subject to the
approval or consent of some other person or to some other
condition, then the powers under this section shall only be
exercisable upon such recommendation or subject to such
approval or consent or other condition.
(2) Any appointment under the provisions of any
written law may, unless the context otherwise requires, be
made to have effect retrospectively as from the date upon
which the person appointed in fact began to exercise the
powers or perform the duties of his appointment, not being a
date earlier than the coming into operation of the written law
under which the appointment is made.
(3) Where under any written law a power is
conferred upon any person or any authority to appoint the
members of any board, that person or authority may appoint a
chairman, a vice-chairman and a secretary (which expressions
shall be deemed to include, respectively, a reference to any
other office of like functions).
(4) At any meeting of a board the chairman shall
preside or, in his absence, the vice-chairman, if any, and if there
be no vice-chairman or if he is also absent, the members
present may appoint one of their number to act as chairman for
that meeting.
(5) Where any board is established under any
written law, the validity of any act or thing done in pursuance
of any of the powers of such board shall not be affected by—
(a) any vacancy in the membership
thereof; or
(b) any defect in the appointment or
qualifications of a person
purporting to be a member thereof; or
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Establishment
of corporate
bodies.
[4 of 1972]
(c) the presence at or participation in any
proceedings, of any person not entitled
to be present thereat or to participate
therein; or
(d) any minor irregularity (not calculated
to cause any prejudice, injustice or
hardship to any person) in the
convening or conduct of any meeting
thereof.
(6) In this section the term “board” includes corporation,
tribunal, commission, committee and other similar body.
30. (1) Where any written law contains words
establishing or providing for the establishment of a body
corporate, those words shall, unless the context otherwise
requires, operate—
(a) to vest in that body when
established—
(i) perpetual succession;
(ii) the power to sue in its corporate
name;
(iii) the power to enter into contracts
in its corporate name, and to do
so that, as regards third parties,
the body shall be deemed to
have the same power to make
contracts as an individual has;
(iv) the right to have a common seal
and to alter or change that seal;
(v) the right to acquire and hold
any movable or immovable
property for purposes for which
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Continuance
in office after
dissolution of
Parliament of
a Member
thereof as
members of
certain
Boards.
the body is constituted and to
dispose of, or charge, such
property;
(vi) the right to regulate its own
procedure and business;
(b) to make that body liable to be sued in
its corporate name.
(2) Service upon a corporation of any notice, order or
other document shall be executed by delivering the same to, or
by sending it by registered post addressed to, the secretary or
the person performing the functions of secretary at the office of
the corporation.
(3) The application of the seal of the corporation
on any document shall be authenticated by the signatures of
the chairman or deputy chairman and the secretary of the
Corporation or some other person authorised by the
Corporation to act in that behalf.
31. (1) Where at any time Parliament is dissolved, no
person who was a member thereof at the time of such
dissolution shall, by reason only of such dissolution, cease to be
a member, director, chairman, or vice-chairman of any board to
which he was appointed or of which he was a member,
director, chairman or vice-chairman by virtue of his being a
member of Parliament, and any such person shall,
notwithstanding such dissolution, continue to be a member,
director, chairman or vice-chairman, as the case may be, of such
board until the first meeting of Parliament held after such
dissolution.
(2) In this section the expression “board” includes
advisory council, committee and any body or authority,
however created.

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Power of
majority.
[4 of 1972]

Functions of
Attorney-
General may
be performed
by Solicitor-
General.
[O.80 /1980]
32. (1) Where any written law confers functions upon a
body or a number of persons consisting of or not being less than
three, such functions may, unless the context otherwise
requires, be performed in the name of that body or number of
persons by a majority of those persons.
(2) Whenever such body or number of persons is
assembled, the chairman or other member presiding shall have
a casting as well as an original vote, in all matters in which a
decision is taken by vote.
(3) The exercise of any power vested in such body
or number of persons may be signified either by the chairman
or other person presiding at the meeting or other proceeding at
which such power was exercised or at which, as the case may
be, authority to exercise it was confirmed, or by any person
from time to time authorised by such body or number of
persons to signify the exercise of such power.
PART XI
LAW OFFICERS
33. (1) Subject to subsection (4), any functions
authorised or required by or under any written law to be
discharged by the Attorney- General may be discharged by the
Solicitor-General:
Provided that, save where the office of Attorney-
General is vacant or the holder thereof is unable (whether by
reason of absence or infirmity of body or mind or any other
cause) to act, the Solicitor-General shall discharge such only of
the said functions as the Attorney-General may assign to him.
(2) During any period when the office of Attorney-
General is vacant, any certificate, petition, direction, notice,
proceeding or other document, matter or thing whatsoever
authorised or required, by or under any written law to be given,
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Functions of
Director of
Public
Prosecutions
may be
performed by
Assistant.
[4 of 1972]
Vesting of
rights,
privileges,
etc., in
Director of
Public
Prosecutions.
[4 of 1972]
Functions of
office of
Deputy
State
delivered, served, taken or done to, on or against the Attorney-
General, may be given, delivered, served, taken or done to, on
or against the Solicitor-General.
(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared
that, subject to the provisions of the following subsection,
where the office of Attorney-General is vacant or the holder
thereof is unable (whether by reason of absence or infirmity of
body or mind or any other cause) to act, the functions of that
office at common law shall be discharged by the Solicitor-
General.
(4) Where the office of Attorney-General is vacant
or the holder thereof is unable (whether by reason of absence or
infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) to act, the
President may direct the Solicitor- General not to discharge all
or any of the aforesaid functions of that office.
34. The provisions of subsection (1) (excluding the
words “Subject to subsection (4)” and subsection (2) of section
33 shall apply to the office and the functions of the Director of
Public Prosecutions as if all references in that section to the
Attorney-General were references to the Director of Public
Prosecutions and all references to the Solicitor- General were
references to the Assistant Director of Public
Prosecutions.
35. All the rights, privileges and functions in respect of
any criminal cause or matter vested immediately before the
26th May, 1966, in the Attorney-General under any written law
or the common law or by any custom or practice, shall be
deemed as from that date to have become vested in the Director
of Public Prosecutions.
36. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law
the Deputy State Solicitor shall have and may exercise and
perform all the functions in respect of the offices of the State
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Solicitor.
[31 of 1974]
Evidence of
signature of
Attorney-
General and
Director of
Public
Prosecutions.


Standard
Time.
[27 of 1975
6 of 1992]
Power to
amend or
modify
other
enactments.
Solicitor, Official Receiver and Public Trustee as are conferred
or imposed by any law.
37. (1) Where under a written law the consent or
authority of the Attorney-General or the Director of Public
Prosecutions is necessary before any action or prosecution is
commenced, any document purporting to be the consent or
authority of the Attorney-General or Director of Public
Prosecutions shall be received as prima facie evidence in any
proceeding without proof being given that the signature to such
consent or authority is that of the Attorney-General or the
Director of Public Prosecutions, as the case may be.
(2) Where under section 33 of this Act the Solicitor-
General is exercising the powers of the Attorney-General, the
provisions of this section shall apply to the Solicitor-General as
they apply to the Attorney-General.
PART XII
TIME AND DISTANCE
38. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where any expression
of time occurs in any written law or public document, the time
referred to shall signify the standard time of Guyana which
shall be four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
(2) Nothing in this section shall affect the use of
local mean time for purposes of astronomy, meteorology,
navigation or other purposes for which that time is adopted by
international usage or the construction of any document
referring to a point of time in connection with any of those
purposes.
(3) The Minister assigned responsibility for legal
matters (other than criminal prosecutions) may, by order which
shall be subject to negative resolution of the National Assembly,
amend or modify any enactment for the purpose of giving
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[27 of 1975]
Provisions
where no
time
prescribed.

Computation
of time.
[4 of 1972]
effect to the provisions of this section.
39. In any written law where no time is prescribed or
allowed within which anything shall be done, such thing shall
be done with all convenient speed, and as often as the
prescribed occasion arises.
40. In computing time for the purpose of any written
law unless the context otherwise requires the following
provisions shall apply—
(a) in a law prescribing a period of days
within which an act is to be or may be
done, a period of days from the
occurrence of an event shall be
reckoned exclusively of the day on
which the event occurs;
(b) in a law prescribing a period of days
for any other purpose a reference to
days shall be construed as a reference
to clear days;
(c) where the day or the last day on which
any act or proceeding is directed or
allowed to be done or taken is a public
holiday, the act or proceeding shall be
considered as done or taken in due
time if it is done or taken on the next
day following not being a public
holiday;
(d) when an act or proceeding is directed
or allowed to be done or taken—
(i) within any time not exceeding
six days, public holidays shall
not be reckoned in the
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Power to
extend time.

Rules as to
time or
manner of
submitting
public
accounts or
issuing
licences.
[4 of 1972]
Measurement
of distance.

computation of the time;
(ii) within any time exceeding six
days, public holidays shall not
be reckoned so as to reduce the
time to less than six days not
being public holidays.
41. Where in any written law a time is prescribed for
doing any act or taking any proceeding and power is given to
a court, public body, public officer or other authority to extend
such time, then the power may be exercised by the court,
public body, public officer or other authority notwithstanding
the expiration of time prescribed.
42. Where in any written law any provision is made
as to the time or manner of submitting, publishing, balancing,
taking, or making up any public account, or as to the form in
which it shall be submitted, published, balanced, taken, or
made up, or as to the time or manner of issuing, or of
entertaining applications for issuing, any licences required to
be taken out thereunder or as to the time of making, or
rendering, any returns, abstracts, statements, or reports, then
notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any such law the
Minister responsible for finance, or in the case of returns,
abstracts, statements or reports not relating to the subject of
finance, the Minister responsible for the respective subject,
may make rules varying or changing the time, manner, or
form aforesaid.
43. In the measurement of any distance for the
purposes of any written law, that distance shall be measured
in a straight line on a horizontal plane.

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reference to the common law.
(2) In this section a reference to laws includes a
is substantially the same offence, under any other of such laws.
bar to prosecution for the same offence, or for an offence which
a conviction or an acquittal upon such prosecution shall be a
prosecuted and punished under either or any of those laws, but
under two or more laws, the offender shall be liable to be
47. (1) Where an act or omission constitutes an offence
that the penalties may be inflicted alternatively or cumulatively.
prescribed for an offence, the use of the word “and” shall mean
46. Where in any written law more than one penalty is
excessive.
the amount of the fine shall not be
discretion of the court provided that
by a fine of any amount in the
that such offence shall be punishable
(b) if the amount of the fine is unspecified,
exceeding the penalty prescribed; and
upon conviction by a penalty not
(a) that such offence shall be punishable
for an offence, such provision shall imply—
45. Where in any written law a penalty is prescribed
to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
body corporate shall be guilty of that offence and shall be liable
was purporting to act in any such capacity, he as well as the
other similar officer of the body corporate, or any person who
the consent or connivance of any director, manager, secretary or
under any written law is proven to have been committed with
44. Where an offence committed by a body corporate
[4 of 1972]
laws.
or more
under two
Offence
alternative.
or
cumulative
maybe
Penalties
[4 of 1972]
penalties.
maximum
deemed to be
Penalties
[4 of 1972]
body.
corporate
offence by
Liability for
PART XIII
OFFENCES, PENALTIES AND PROSECUTIONS
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Construction
of applied
laws.

Reference to
applied laws.
Citation or
description
of
a portion of
an applied
Act.
PART XIV
APPLIED LAWS
48. An applied law shall be deemed to extend to
Guyana so far only as local laws and circumstances permit; and
in applying that law or portion thereof it shall be construed
with any verbal alteration, not affecting the substance,
necessary to render it applicable to the particular matter in
question.
49. (1) Where in any written law or in any public
document made after 15th July, 1891, reference is made to an
applied Act, the applied Act may be cited by its short title, if
any, either with or without reference to the chapter, or by
reference to the regnal year in which it was passed and where
necessary either by a reference to a particular chapter or to a
particular session of Parliament of the United Kingdom or by
reference to a section of the applied Act.
(2) That reference shall, unless the context otherwise
requires, be read as referring, in the case of applied laws
included in any revised edition of the laws of Guyana
purporting to be printed by authority, to that edition, and in the
case of applied laws not so included and made before the reign
of George I, King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to the
edition prepared under the direction of the Record Commission
of the Government of the United Kingdom, and in other cases
to the copies of such applied laws purporting to be printed by
the Queen’s printer or under the superintendence of Her
Majesty’s stationery office in the United Kingdom.
50. In any applied law made after 15th July, 1891, a
description or citation of a portion of an applied Act shall,
unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as including
the word, section or other part mentioned or referred to as
forming the beginning and as forming the end of the portion
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Effect of
substitution-
ary provisions.
[4 of 1972]
Effect of
repeal of
repealing
written law.

References
to repealed
law and to
re- enacted
law.
[4 of 1972]

Savings in
cases of
comprised in the description or citation.
PART XV
REPEAL OF WRITTEN LAW
51. Where a written law made after the 8th March,
1856, whether before or after the coming into operation of this
Act, repeals in whole or in part any former written law and
substitutes provisions for the written law repealed, the
repealed written law shall, unless the context otherwise
requires, remain in force until the substituted provisions come
into operation.
52. Where a written law made after the 8th March,
1856, repeals a repealing written law, it shall not be construed
as reviving any written law previously repealed, unless words
are added reviving that written law.
53. Where a written law made after 15th July, 1891,
repeals and re-enacts with or without modification any
provisions of a former written law, then unless the context
otherwise requires—
(a) a reference in any other written law or
in any public document to the
provisions so repealed shall be
construed as a reference to the
provisions so re-enacted;
(b) a reference in any other written law or
in any public document to the
provisions so re-enacted shall, in so far
as such reference relates to any period
before such repeal and re-enactment,
be construed as a reference to the
provisions so repealed.
54. Where a written law made after 15th July, 1891,
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repeal.
[4 of 1972]
repeals any other written law then, unless the context otherwise
requires, the repeal shall not—
(a) revive anything not in force or existing
at the time at which the repeal takes
effect; or
(b) affect the previous operation of any
written law so repealed or anything
duly done or suffered under any
written law so repealed; or
(c) affect any right, privilege, obligation,
or liability acquired, accrued, or
incurred under any written law so
repealed; or
(d) affect any penalty, forfeiture, or
punishment incurred in respect of any
offence committed against any written
law so repealed; or
(e) affect any investigation, legal
proceeding, or remedy in respect of
any right, privilege, obligation,
liability, penalty, forfeiture, or
punishment aforesaid;
and the investigation, legal proceeding, or remedy may be
instituted, continued or enforced, and the penalty, forfeiture or
punishment may be imposed as if the repealing written law had
not been made.

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Saving
rights of the
State.
[4 of 1972]

Acts for
benefit of
particular
persons.

Division of
written law
into Parts,
Preamble,
Schedule,
etc.

Deviation in
Forms.
Citation of
another
PART XVI
MISCELLAENOUS PROVISIONS RELATING TO
WRITTEN LAW
55. Unless it so appears by necessary implication, no
written law shall in any manner whatsoever affect the rights of
the State, and notwithstanding that the rights of the State are
not affected by a written law the State may take advantage of
the provisions of that written law.
56. Every written law which affects or benefits some
particular person or association or body corporate shall be
deemed to contain provision saving the rights of the State, of all
bodies politic and corporate and of all other persons except
persons affected or benefited by the written law and those
claiming by or under them.
57. (1) Where any written law is divided into Parts,
Titles or other divisions, the fact and particulars of such
divisions shall be taken notice of in all courts and for all
purposes whatsoever.
(2) The preamble of any written law may be
referred to for assistance in explaining the scope and object of
the written law.
(3) Every schedule, table or marginal note to any
written law, together with any notes to any Act or note to any
Part thereof shall be construed and have effect as part of the
written law.
58. Whenever forms are prescribed in any written law,
slight deviations therefrom, not affecting the substance or
calculated to mislead, shall not invalidate them.
59. In any written law a description or citation of a
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written law.
[4 of 1972]

Ex-officio
proceeding
not to abate
on death,
etc.
[4 of 1972]

Change of
title.
[4 of 1972]

Affirmation
instead of
oath.
[4 of 1972]
portion of any other written law shall, unless the context
otherwise requires, be construed as including the word, section
or other part mentioned or referred to as forming the beginning
and as forming the end of the portion comprised in the
description or citation.
60. A civil or criminal proceeding taken under any
written law by or against any person in virtue of his office
(whether in that person’s own name or in the name of his office)
shall not be discontinued or abated by his death, resignation,
absence or removal from office, but may be carried on by or, as
the case may be, against the person for the time being holding
that office.
61. The Minister responsible for the public service
may by order declare that a title specified in the order has
been substituted for the existing title of any public office or of
any Ministry, or any department, division or other section of a
Ministry, and thereupon, unless the context otherwise
requires, for every reference in any written law or any public
or official document to the existing title there shall be
substituted a reference to the substituted title.
62. Anyone who objects to taking an oath required by
or under any law and states as the ground of his objection
either that he has no religious belief or that the taking of an
oath is contrary to his religious belief, or if it is not practicable
to administer an oath to such a person as aforesaid in the
manner appropriate to his religious belief, he shall be required
to make a solemn affirmation in like form as the oath save that
for references to the word “swear” there shall be substituted
the words “solemnly affirm” or other cognate expression and
no reference shall be made to the Deity; and the affirmation
shall, to all intents and purposes, be of the same force and
effect as if he had taken the oath.
_________________
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