Chapter 003:13 - Time Limit for Judicial Decisions

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/435-chapter-313-time-limit-for-judicial-decisions/file

L.R.O. 1/ 2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
TIME LIMIT FOR JUDICIAL DECISIONS ACT
ACT
CHAPTER 3:13
Act
9 of 2009





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Note
of
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.




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CHAPTER 3:13
TIME LIMIT FOR JUDICIAL DECISIONS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
1. Short title.
2. Application of Act.
3. Cases to be tried expeditiously.
4. Time limit for decisions in civil cases.
5. Time limit for decisions in appeal cases.
6. Persistently failing to write or give decisions.
7. Failure to write or give decisions.
8. Extension of time in special cases.
9. Judge to inform Chancellor of non-compliance.
10. Judge's report.
11. Report of the Chancellor.
12. Regulations.
13. Transition.
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9 of 2009 An Act to specify a time limit in accordance with article 197
(3) of the Constitution within which a Judge shall
give a decision in a civil case and any appeal case
and for connected matters.

Short title.
1. This Act may be cited as the Time Limit for Judicial
Decisions Act.

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Application of
Act
Case to be tried
expeditiously.
Time limit for
decisions in
civil
cases.

Time limit for
decisions in
appeal cases.
Persistently
failing to write
or give decisions

Failure to
write or give
decisions.
2. This Act applies to Judges of the Court of Appeal,
the High Court and the Full Court.
3. A case shall be tried as expeditiously as possible in
an endeavour to conclude the case within such time as the
complexity and the relevant evidence necessitate.
4. (1) A Judge who presides at the trial of a civil case
shall give a written or an oral decision and reasons for the
decision at the conclusion of the hearing of the case or as soon
as possible after the conclusion of the hearing but not later
than one hundred and twenty days from the date of
conclusion of the hearing.
(2) In this section a civil case includes an
interlocutory proceeding and a decision includes an
interlocutory decision.
5. Where the Court of Appeal or the Full Court hears
an appeal, a Judge on behalf of the Court or each Judge of the
Court shall give a written or an oral decision and reasons for
the decision at the conclusion of the hearing of the appeal or
as soon as possible after the conclusion of the hearing but not
later than thirty days from the date of conclusion of the
hearing.
6. In accordance with article 197 (3) of the
Constitution a Judge may be removed from office for, among
other reasons, persistently failing to give written or oral
decisions and reasons for the decisions within the time
specified in this Act.
7. Where a Judge fails to write or give an oral decision
and reasons for the decision within the time specified in
section 4 or 5 or the extended time granted under section 8 the
Chancellor shall cause the Registrar to notify the Judge that
the Judge has failed to comply with the given time limit and
that if the Judge persists in not writing or giving oral
decisions as prescribed by this Act, action may be taken under
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Extension of
time in special
cases.
article 197 of the Constitution with a view to removing the
Judge from office.

8. (1) If a Judge cannot comply with the time limit in
section 4 or 5 then the Judge may apply to the Chancellor for
an extension of time.
(2) A Judge shall apply for an extension of time –
(a) in writing;
(b) not less than twenty-one days before
expiration of the specified time limit;
(c) providing reasons and evidence of
any supporting circumstances why
the Judge cannot meet the time limit;
and
(d) proposing the duration of extension
sought.
(3) The Chancellor may grant an extension of time
where –
(a) the case is shown to be a complex one;
(b) the Judge claims to be ill and the
illness is supported by a medical
certificate;
(c) the Judge cites as a reason, a claim of
additional official assignments;
(d) no injustice occurs from the grant; or
(e) any other claim by the Judge is
accepted as reasonable.

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Judge to
inform
Chancellor
of non-
compliance.
Judge’s report.
Report of the
chancellor
(4) Where the Chancellor is satisfied that a Judge is
entitled to an extension of time to write or give a decision, the
Chancellor shall, by notice in writing, grant an extension of
time that is reasonable in the circumstances of the case.
(5) Where the Chancellor is not satisfied that the
Judge ought to be granted an extension, the Chancellor shall
direct the Judge to give the decision within thirty days
beginning from the date of receipt of the intimation from the
Chancellor or from the date of expiration of the specified time
limit, whichever date is the later.
9. As soon as practicable, but not later than 31st March
of the succeeding year, where a Judge has not, in the
preceding year, complied with the time limit in section 4 or 5
or the extended time granted under section 8 the Judge shall,
through the Registrar of the Supreme Court, inform the
Chancellor of the case in which the provision was not
complied with.
10. (1) The Chancellor may, by regulation, require a
Judge to submit an annual report to the Chancellor with
respect to the status of each case assigned to the Judge for
each year.
(2) The time for and contents of the Judge's report
may be prescribed.
11. (1) As soon as practicable, but not later than 31st
March of the succeeding year, the Chancellor shall instruct
the Registrar to submit to the Speaker of the National
Assembly an annual report for the preceding year consisting
of –
(a) each case of non-compliance with the
prescribed time limit under section 4
or 5 or the extended time under
section 8; and

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Regulations.

Transition.
(b) each notice given under section 7.
(2) The report of the Chancellor shall be laid before
the National Assembly within thirty days of its submission to
the Speaker if the Assembly is sitting, and if the Assembly is
not sitting, at the first meeting on the resumption of the
Assembly.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as
providing an opportunity to debate in the National Assembly
on the conduct of a Judge.
12. The Chancellor may make regulations for carrying
the provisions of this Act into effect, and without limiting the
generality of this provision, providing –
(a) for a Judge to write a report to the
Chancellor with respect to the status
of each case assigned to the Judge for
each year;
(b) for the time within which the Judge
shall write the report; and
(c) the contents of the Judge's report.
13. Where a Judge or Court has concluded the hearing
of a civil case or an appeal but has not given the decision
before the coming into operation of this Act the Judge or the
Court shall be deemed to have concluded the hearing of the
case or appeal on the date of the coming into operation of this
Act and shall accordingly give the decision in compliance
with this Act.
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