Chapter 006:01 - Civil Law of Guyana

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/451-chapter-601-civil-law-of-guyana/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
CIVIL LAW OF GUYANA ACT
CHAPTER 6:01
Act
15 of 1916
Amended by
26 of 1949 17 of 1959 22 of 1960 11
12
of
of
1971
1983

Current Authorised Pages
Pages
(inclusive)
Authorised
by L.R.O.
1 – 29 ... 1/2012





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Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation

This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

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CHAPTER 6:01
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
1. Short title.
2. (1) Interpretation.
(2) Roman-Dutch terms.
(3) Saving of existing rights.
3. Alteration of law.
(a) Abrogation of Roman-Dutch law.
(b) Introduction of English common law.
(c) Exclusion of English law of real property.
(d) Law of movable and immovable property to be the same subject to
certain provisos.
(i) Full ownership of immovable property preserved.
(ii) Mortgages, real servitudes and oppositions.
(iii) Specific performance.
(iv) Evidence in writing (Statute of Frauds).
(v) Sale by auction of immovable property.
(Auctions of Land Act, 1867).
4. (1) Vesting foreshore, sea-bed and minerals thereunder, in the
State.
(5) Determination of public rights
(7) Saving of existing rights.
(8) Foreshore.
5. (1) Rules for intestate succession (22 & 23 Car. II. c. 10, adapted).
(e) (1 Jas. II, c. 17, s. 7.)
(g) Intestate Estates Act, 1890. (Modified.)
(6) Escheat.
WILLS CHARITIES AND GIFTS
6. Wills
(7 W. IV. and 1 Vic. c. 26.)
7. Charities.
(43 Eliz. c. 4.)
CIVIL LAW OF GUYANA ACT
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SECTION
8. Voluntary conveyances and settlements
(13 Eliz. c. 5.) (27 Eliz. c. 4.)
MARRIAGE
9. Annus luctus abolished.
TRUSTS
10. Trusts and Trustees:
56 & 57 Vic. c. 53.
(d) (Trustee Act, 1894.)
11. (1) Legal rate of interest in existing contracts.
(2) Rate of interest where no rate fixed.
12. English law to prevail in insurance cases.
MISCELLANEOUS
13. (1) Laesio enormis and Roman-Dutch pleas abolished; law of
parate execution and notaries public retained.
14. Deeds.
15. Habeas corpus, 31 Car. II., c. 2.
16. Assignment of debts and chases in action. (S.C. of Judicature
Act, 1873, s.25 (6).)
17. Promise and agreement by parol. (Statute of Frauds, s. 4.)
18. Action against executors (3 and 4 W. IV., c. 41, s. 2.)
19. Persons of unsound mind.
20. Declaration.
21. Monopolies.
22. Royal prerogative.
SCHEDULE—Provisions relating to monopolies.
__________________________

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1929 Ed.
c. 7
1953 Ed.
c. 2 _______________________________________________________
15 of 1916 An Act to codify certain portions of the Roman-Dutch Law
of the State and in other matters to substitute the
English Common Law and Principles of Equity, along
with certain English Statutory Provisions for the
Roman-Dutch Law.
[1st JANAURY, 1917]
Short title.
Interpretation.
Roman-Dutch
terms.
Saving of
existing rights.
1. This Act may be cited as the Civil Law of Guyana
Act.
2. (1) From and after the 1st January, 1917, hereinafter
in this Act referred to as “the date aforesaid,” save as
provided by this or any other Act, unless the context
otherwise determines, wherever the words “movable
property” are used in an Act, or in any written law, or in a
document, they shall ordinarily be deemed to mean and
include personal property, inclusive of choses in action but
exclusive of chattels real, as understood by the common law
of England, and vice versa, and wherever the words
“immovable property” are so used they shall ordinarily be
deemed to mean and include both real property and “chattels
real” as understood by the common law of England, and vice
versa.
(2) Wherever in an Act, or in another written law,
or in a document, any term of Roman-Dutch law is used, the
corresponding term of English law, if any, with any words of
qualification required, shall be understood and construed in
lieu thereof, unless the context otherwise determines.
(3) Nothing in this Act contained shall be held to
deprive any person of any right of ownership, or other right,
CHAPTER 6:01
CIVIL LAW OF GUYANA ACT
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Alteration of
law.
[26 of 1947]
Abrogation of
Roman Dutch
Law.
c. 45:04
title, or interest in any property, movable or immovable, or of
any other right acquired before the date aforesaid; and where
in any matter whatsoever any right is founded upon a rule or
custom of Roman-Dutch law or procedure for which there is
no equivalent in the English common law, or where the
English common law in the opinion of the High Court is not
applicable owing to any special local conditions for which no
provision is made by this or any other Act, effect may be
given to the Roman-Dutch rule or procedure to the extent the
High Court deems advisable in the interests of equity if that
Court is so advised.
3. From and after the date aforesaid—
(a) the law of Guyana relating to wills,
fideicommissa, trusts, suretyship, donations or gifts (both as
regards movable and immovable property), liens or rights of
retention, tacit and legal hypothecs or mortgages, partnership,
agency, mandate, powers of attorney and appointment, hiring
and lease, landlord and tenant, negotiable instruments,
bailments, carriers, torts, or delicts, quasi-delicts, every
description whatsoever of contracts and obligations whether
mercantile or otherwise, all questions relating to husband and
wife, marriage, separation, and divorce (save as to the rights
acquired and obligations contracted by marriage in
community of goods or subject to ante-nuptial contract prior
to the Married Persons (Property) Act), parent and child,
guardian and ward, minors or infants, lunatics, persons of
unsound mind, master and servant, the presumptions and
rules as to continuance of life and proof of death, movable or
personal property, immovable or real property and chattels
real, and all matters relating to any of the aforesaid subjects,
and the law of Guyana relating to all other matters
whatsoever, whether ejusdem generis with the foregoing or
not, shall cease to be Roman-Dutch law, and as regards all
matters arising and all rights acquired or accruing after the
date aforesaid, the Roman-Dutch law shall cease to apply to
Guyana;
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Introduction of
English
common law.

Exclusion of
English law of
property.
Law of
movable and
immovable
property to be
the same
subject to
certain
provisions.
Full ownership
of immovable
property
preserved.
Mortgages, real
servitudes and
oppositions.
(b) the common law of Guyana shall be the
common law of England as at the date aforesaid including
therewith the doctrines of equity as then administered or at
any time hereafter administered by the courts of justice in
England, and the High Court shall administer the doctrines of
equity in the same manner as the High Court of Justice in
England administers them at the date aforesaid or at any time
hereafter;
(c) the English common law of real property shall
not apply to immovable property in Guyana;
(d) there shall be as heretofore one common law
for both immovable and movable property, and all questions
relating to immovable property within Guyana and to
movable property subject to the law of Guyana shall be
adjudged, determined, construed and enforced, as far as
possible, according to the principles of the common law of
England applicable to personal property:
Provided that—
(i) immovable property may be held as
heretofore in full ownership, which
shall be the only ownership of
immovable property recognised by
the common law and shall not be
subject to any rule of succession by
primogeniture or preference of males
to females, or to any other incident
attached to land tenure or to estates in
lands in England and not attached to
personal property in England;
(ii) the law and practice relating to
conventional mortgages or hypothecs
of movable or immovable property,
and to easements, profits a prendre, or
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Specific
performance.
Evidence in
writing (Statute
of Frauds).
Sale by auction
of immovable
property
real servitudes, and the right of
opposition in the case of both
transports and mortgages, shall be the
law and practice now administered in
those matters by the Supreme Court;
(iii) the relief by judgment for specific
performance shall be granted in the
case of immovable property on the
same principles on which it is granted
in England in the case of contracts
relating to land or to interests in land;
(iv) no action shall be brought whereby to
charge anyone upon—
any lease of immovable
property for a period
exceeding one year, or
any contract or agreement for
the sale, mortgage, or lease of
immovable property or any
interest in or concerning
immovable property, or
any declaration, creation or
assignment of any trust
relating to immovable
property, unless the agreement
or some memorandum or note
thereof is in writing and signed
by the party to be charged or
some other person thereunto
by him lawfully authorised;
(v) the particulars or conditions of sale by
auction of immovable property shall
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(Auctions of
Land Act 1867).

Vesting
foreshore, sea-
bed and
minerals
thereunder in
the State.
[11 of 1971]
c. 62:01
c. 65:01
state whether that property will be
sold without reserve, or subject to a
reserved price, or whether a right to
bid is reserved; if it is stated that the
property will be sold without reserve,
or to that effect, then the seller may
not employ anyone to bid at the sale,
nor may the auctioneer take
knowingly any bidding from that
person; and where any sale by auction
of immovable property is declared,
either in the particulars or conditions
of sale, to be subject to a right of the
seller to bid, the seller, or any one
person on his behalf, may bid at that
auction in any manner he thinks
proper.
4. (1) From and after the date aforesaid, the foreshore
of Guyana (that is to say, the part of the shore of the sea and
of tidal navigable rivers which is covered by the medium high
tide between the spring tides and the neap tides), the soil
under tidal waters, and the sea-bed within the territorial
waters of Guyana (hereafter in this section called “the lands”),
shall be deemed to be State lands and may be dealt with in
the same manner in which State lands are now dealt with
under the State Lands Act or under any later Act.
(2) Gold, silver, precious stones, valuable minerals,
as defined by the Mining Act, mineral oil, asphalt, coal,
bauxite, and all other mineral substances found upon the
lands shall be deemed to be vested in the State, and no one
shall explore, prospect, mine for, remove, or appropriate any
of those minerals except in accordance with the Mining Act, or any other Act or regulations applying thereto, subject to
the penalties provided for offences against the Acts or
regulations aforesaid.

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Determination
of public rights.

Saving of
existing rights.
Foreshore.
(3) No one shall remove any sand, shell, clay,
gravel, shingle, or other mineral substance, or any seaweed or
vegetation, from the lands without the permission of the
Minister responsible for sea defences subject to the like
penalties.
(4) Except as provided in the two next ensuing
subsections all acts of ownership by the State over the lands
and minerals aforesaid, and all grants, leases, or licences shall
be subject to any existing public rights under the common law
of England.
(5) Whenever the Minister is satisfied that any act
of ownership or any grant, lease, or licence of the lands
cannot be exercised without a substantial infringement of
some public right, a description of the lands and a statement
of the purposes for which they are to be used shall be
published in the Gazette during a period of six weeks, and the
Minister shall thereafter fix a day for the hearing of objections
in writing or by counsel to that act, grant, lease, or licence
before him and duly consider any objections.
(6) If the Minister considers the objections
insufficiently founded, or if no objections are made he may
with the approval of the National Assembly declare that any
lands so required are freed and discharged from any public
rights until the purpose of the act, grant, lease, or licence is
terminated.
(7) Nothing in this section contained shall be
construed as vesting in the State any land forming part of the
foreshore or a sea-bed over which a private right has been
established by virtue of any law or custom and whether by
prescription or otherwise.
(8) From and after the date aforesaid the
ownership of the foreshore and of all lands covered by public
navigable rivers, or (to the extent to which those lands now or
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Rules for
intestate
succession. (22
& 23 Car. II.
C.10, adapted).
[22 of 1960
12 of 1983]
hereafter are vested in the State under the common law or by
written law) by arms of the sea, or by territorial waters, shall
be vested in the State upon the same terms, as to the use and
enjoyment thereof by the public for navigation and fishing,
and by the owners of the adjoining lands for access to the sea
for purposes of navigation, and upon the same terms for all
other purposes, as in England.
5. (1) There shall be for the whole of Guyana only one
law of succession to the estate of every person, male or
female, married or single, dying intestate after the date of this
Act, that is to say, after all debts, funeral expenses, and just
expenses of every sort have been first allowed and deducted,
namely—
(a) if there are descendants, one-third
part of the surplusage shall be allotted
to the widow or widower and all the
residue by equal portions to the
children of the intestate, their
descendants taking per stirpes, in case
any or all of those children are then
dead:
Provided that if any child shall have any estate by a
settlement of the intestate, or shall be advanced by the
intestate in his life-time, that child shall bring the estate or
amount advanced into hotchpot or so much of it as shall make
the estate of all the children to be equal or so near as can be
estimated;
(b) if there are no descendants, then one
moiety shall be allotted to the widow
or widower of the intestate and the
residue shall be distributed equally
among the next of kin of the intestate
who are in equal degree, the children,
but not the grandchildren, of
deceased brothers and sisters taking
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(1 Jas. II, c. 17,
s.7)
per stirpes, no other representation
being admitted among collaterals:
Provided that—
(i) if there are no next of kin
of the second or third
degrees, the widow or
widower shall take the
whole estate to the
exclusion of the next of
kin of remoter degree;
and
(ii) brothers and sisters shall
take before the
grandparents although of
the same degree; and
(iii) kindred of the half-blood
shall rank with those of
the whole blood;
(c) if there is no widow or widower, the
whole estate shall be divided equally
among the children, the
grandchildren of any deceased child
or children taking per stirpes;
(d) if there is no widow or widower and
no descendant of the intestate the
whole estate shall be distributed
among the next of kin of the intestate
who are in equal degree, their
descendants taking per stirpes;
(e) the father and mother shall rank
equally as of the same degree, and the
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Intestate
Estates Act,
1890.
(Modified)
father shall not take in exclusion of
the mother, but each shall be entitled
if of the same degree to a separate and
equal share, and if, after the death of
either parent, any of the children die
intestate without wife or children,
every brother and sister and their
representatives shall have an equal
share with the surviving parent;
(f) the husband of the survivor shall not
be entitled to any preference or to any
greater interest than the wife would
have where the wife is the survivor,
but shall take a like share, and a
wife’s estate shall be subject in all
respects to the same rules of
distribution as a husband’s estate;
(g) if the estate does not exceed in value
four hundred and eighty dollars, the
surviving spouse, if any, whether
there are descendants or not of the
intestate, shall take the whole estate
absolutely and exclusively, and, if the
estate exceeds four hundred and
eighty dollars, whether there are
descendants or not of the intestate,
shall be entitled to four hundred and
eighty dollars as a just charge,
without prejudice to or diminution of
his or her share as above provided,
and the residue shall be treated as if it
were the whole estate;
(h) the degrees of kindred shall be
reckoned by counting every
generation from the intestate up to the
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Escheat.
c. 46:01
common ancestor and down thence to
the person in question.
(2) The rules of succession to both immovable and
movable property shall be the same, and no distinction shall
be made between movable and immovable property for
purposes of distribution.
(3) No special rule of succession in the county of
Berbice pursuant to any law, customs or charter shall be valid
or enforceable after the date aforesaid.
(4) In any matter not provided for by this section
the common law of England shall apply.
(5) Any claim which might have been made by or
on behalf of the State to exclude a surviving spouse on failure
of blood relations of the deceased under the common law of
Berbice or under the common law of Demerara and Essequibo
shall cease to be valid or enforceable.
(6)(a) In the absence of all blood relations,
including all persons entitled to succeed to the estate of a
deceased person under section 11 of the Legitimacy Act and
in the absence of a surviving wife or husband of a deceased
person, his residuary estate shall belong to the State as bona
vacantia and in lieu of any right to escheat.
(b) the President may, at any time, out of the
whole or any part of the property devolving on the State as
aforesaid, provide for—
(i) dependants, whether kindred or not,
of the intestate;
(ii) persons other than dependants for
whom the intestate might reasonably
have been expected to make
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provision; and
(iii) other persons who would have
succeeded to the estate of the
deceased but for their own, or their
ancestors’, or the deceased’s
illegitimacy.
(c) The personal representative of a deceased
person may, before transferring any property to the State as
bona vacantia, publish a notice in the Gazette and in a daily
newspaper circulating in the district or county in which the
deceased ordinarily resided, calling on all persons desiring to
claim any of the property to lodge their claim with the
personal representative within three months from the date of
the publication of the notice in the Gazette.
(d) The personal representative of a deceased
person may, before transferring any property to the State as
bona vacantia, apply to the Court for the opinion, advice or
direction of the Court on any question respecting the
ascertainment of any claim to any property of the deceased or
the transfer of such property to the State.
(e) The personal representative of a deceased
person who, before transferring any property to the State as
bona vacantia, publishes notices in accordance with paragraph
(c) and acts in accordance with any opinion, advice or
direction of the Court, shall be deemed, so far as regards his
own responsibility, to have discharged his obligations and his
duty as personal representative in the subject matter of the
application:
Provided that this paragraph shall not extend to
indemnify any personal representative in respect of any act
done in accordance with the opinion, advice or direction of
the Court, if he has been guilty of any fraud or wilful
concealment or misrepresentation in obtaining that opinion,
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13:01
Wills.
c. 12:02
(7W.IV. and 1
Vic c.26)
advice or direction.
(f) No proceedings may be brought against the
State in respect of any property disposed of in pursuance of
paragraph (b).
(g) In this subsection the expression “personal
representative of a deceased person” includes the Public
Trustee acting in the capacity of a personal representative
with respect to any intestacy, and section 13 of the Public
Trustee Act shall have no application to monies received by
the Public Trustee acting as aforesaid.
(7) In determining relationships for the purposes of
this section no regard shall be had to whether any person is
born in wedlock or out of wedlock and a person born out of
wedlock shall be entitled to the same rights under this section
as a person born in wedlock:
Provided that a man shall not, as the father of a child
born out of wedlock and dying intestate, be entitled to take
any interest under this section in the estate of the child unless,
before the death of the child –
(i) he had been adjudged to be the father
of the child by a court of competent
jurisdiction; or
(ii) he had acknowledged the child to be
his own and had contributed towards
the maintenance of the child.
WILLS, CHARITIES AND GIFTS
6. Where the Wills Act, and any other Act now or
hereafter dealing with wills or testaments, is silent, the Wills
Act, 1837, of the United Kingdom except section 7 thereof so
far as it relates to personal property, shall be part of the law of
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Guyana and shall apply to both movable and immovable
property as if the provisions dealing with personal property
were specifically enacted to apply to both movable and
immovable property, and in the absence of any provision by
Act the English common law, including the rule against
perpetuities, shall apply:
Provided always that—
(a) although no descendant or ascendant
of any person dying after the date
aforesaid shall have any right to claim
any legitimate portion, effect shall be
given to any testamentary direction
bequeathing a legitimate portion to
any ascendant or descendant as a
valid bequest of that part of the estate
which would constitute a legitimate
portion for the descendant or
ascendant under the Roman-Dutch
law;
(b) no person by will or otherwise shall
so settle or dispose of any property
that the rents or profits shall be
accumulated for a longer term than
the life of that person, or the term of
twenty-one years from the death of
that person, or during the minority of
anyone living or en ventre sa mere at
the time of the death of that person, or
during the minority of anyone who
would be entitled under the will or
other document if of full age; and any
accumulation in excess thereof shall
go to the person who would be
entitled but for that direction; but of the debts or for raising a portion for
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Charities.
(43 Eliz. c.4)
Voluntary
conveyances
and
settlements.
(13 Eliz. c. 5)
(27 Eliz. c. 4)
the child of anyone;
(c) no person by will or other document
shall so settle or dispose of any
property that the rents or profits
thereof shall be wholly or partially
accumulated for the purchase of land
only for any longer period than
during the minority of anyone who
would be entitled to receive the rents
or profits under the will or other
document if of full age.

7. The law as to charities shall be the common law of
England:
Provided that—
(a) no bequest or gift, whether testamentary or
otherwise, shall be held void by reason only
that it is for a superstitious use or purpose;
and
(b) by “charities” shall be ordinarily understood
charities within the meaning, purview, and
interpretation of the preamble to the Act of
the forty-third year of Queen Elizabeth,
chapter four, as preserved by section 13 of
the Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act, 1888,
of the United Kingdom.
8. Voluntary conveyances or settlements, or other
voluntary dispositions of property, whether movable or
immovable, that is to say, conveyances, settlements, or
dispositions, made otherwise than on valuable consideration
and in good faith lawfully conveyed to, or made in favour of,
a person who is without notice of any fraudulent intent, shall
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Annus luctus
abolished.
Trusts and
Trustees.
(56 & 57 Vic. c.
53)
be void as against existing creditors.
MARRIAGE
9. The obligation of observing the annus luctus, and
any other limitation of the right of a widow or widower
under Roman-Dutch to re-marry, are hereby abolished.
TRUSTS
10. Subject to this or any other Act, the Trustee Act,
1893, of the United Kingdom shall be part of the law of
Guyana so far as the same is applicable:
Provided that—
(a) the High Court may exercise any power
which the High Court of Justice in England
may exercise under that Act;
(b) a trustee may, in addition to the securities
set out in section 1 of the aforesaid Act
invest any trust moneys in the Government
savings bank of Guyana, or in any bonds or
inscribed stock issued by the authority of the
Government of Guyana, and guaranteed by
resolution of the National Assembly or by
the Government of the United Kingdom, or
in any municipal bonds issued with the
consent of the Government of Guyana or in
any colonial stock registered in the United
Kingdom in accordance with the provisions
of the Colonial Stock Acts, 1877 and 1892, of
the United Kingdom or in any investment
sanctioned by a judge of the High Court on
application by any trustee;

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(Trustee Act,
1894.)

Legal rate of
interest in
existing
contracts.
Rate of interest
where no rate
fixed.
English law to
prevail in
insurance cases.
(c) a trustee shall be entitled to fair and
reasonable compensation for his services,
and for his time expended, in and about the
trust estate allowed by a judge of the High
Court or allowed by any Act to an
administrator in like cases, and any judge
may on summary application fix the amount
of the compensation although the trust
estate is not before the Court in any action;
(d) a trustee shall not be liable for breach of
trust by reason only of his continuing to
hold an investment which has ceased to be
an investment authorised by the instrument
of trust or by the general law.
11. (1) Where interest is now payable upon any
contract, expressed or implied, for payment of the legal or
current rate of interest, or where upon any debt or sum of
money interest is now payable by any rule of law, the same
rate of interest shall be recoverable as if this provision had not
been enacted.

(2) In all proceedings before any court of justice
founded upon contract in which no rate of interest is
specifically stated, the court shall award interest, if it so thinks
fit, at the rate of six per cent per annum and no more.
12. In every suit, action, and cause having reference
to questions of fire and life assurance which are henceforth
brought in the High Court, or in any other competent court in
Guyana, the law administered for the time being by the High
Court of Justice in England, so far as that law is not repugnant
to, or in conflict with, any Act now in force in Guyana, shall
be the law to be administered by the High Court or other
competent court.

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Laesio enormis
and Roman
Dutch pleas
abolished; law
of parate
execution and
notaries public
retained.
Deeds.

Habeas corpus.
(31 Ca. II., c. 2.)
Assignment of
debts and
choses in
action.
(S.C. of
Judicature Act,
1873, s. 25(6).)

MISCELLANEOUS
13. (1) The doctrine or action of laesio enormis is
hereby abolished.
(2) The pleas founded upon the benefits of
excussion and division and all other pleas founded upon the
Roman-Dutch or Roman law and not recognised by the
English common law are hereby abolished and it shall be no
longer necessary to exclude them expressly in any surety
bond or other document.
(3) The law and procedure relating to parate
execution and to notaries public shall continue as at present.
14. Where by the English common law, or by any Act
or other written law now or hereafter applying to Guyana,
any matter is required to be evidenced by deed, a document
notarially executed shall be held to be as valid and effectual
for all purposes as if sealed and delivered as a deed.
15. The common law right to the writ of habeas corpus,
as confirmed and regulated by the Habeas Corpus Act, 1679, of
the United Kingdom shall be part of the law and procedure of
Guyana and, subject to any rules of the High Court, shall be
granted and issued as nearly as possible in accordance with
the practice and procedure for the time being in force in
regard to that writ in the High Court of Justice in England.
16. Any absolute assignment, by writing under the
hand of the assignor (not purporting to be by way of charge
only), of any debt or other legal chose in action, of which
express notice in writing has been given to the debtor, trustee,
or other person from whom the assignor would have been
entitled to receive or claim that debt or chose in action, shall
be and be deemed to have been effectual in law (subject to all
equities which would have been entitled to priority over the
right of the assignee if this Act had not passed), to pass and
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Promise and
agreement by
parol.
(Statute of
Frauds, s.4.)
Action against
executors.
(3 and 4 W. IV
c. 41, s. 2.)
Person of
unsound mind.
[26 of 1949
transfer the legal right to the debt or chose in action from the
date of that notice, and all legal and other remedies therefor
and the power to give a good discharge therefor, without the
concurrence of the assignor:
Provided that if the debtor, trustee, or other person liable
in respect of the debt or chose in action has had notice that the
assignment is disputed by the assignor or any one claiming
under him, or of any other opposing or conflicting claims to
the debt or chose in action, he shall be entitled, if he think fit,
to call upon the several persons making claim thereto to
interplead concerning it, or he may, if he think fit, pay it into
the High Court under and in conformity with any rules of
court.
17. No action shall be brought whereby to charge any
heir, executor or administrator, upon any special promise to
answer damages out of his own estate, or whereby to charge
the defendant upon any special promise to answer for the
debt, default, or miscarriage of another, or to charge anyone
upon any agreement made upon consideration of marriage,
or upon any agreement which is not to be performed within
the space of one year from the making thereof, unless the
agreement upon which the action is brought or some
memorandum or note thereof, is in writing and signed by the
party to be charged therewith, or some other person
thereunto by him lawfully authorised.
18. An action may be maintained against the
executors or administrators of anyone deceased for any
wrong committed by him in his lifetime to another in respect
of his property if the injury has been committed within six
months before his death and if the action is brought within six
months after letters of administration have been granted.
19. (1) Where anyone has been adjudged to be of
unsound mind and a proper subject for confinement under
the provisions of the Mental Hospital Act, a judge of the High
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17 of 1959]
Cap. 140
1953 Ed.
53 Vic., c. 5
Cap. 140
1953 Ed.
Court may, on application by the Attorney-General, or by a
wife, husband, blood relation, creditor, or duly appointed
agent or attorney of the person so adjudged, make an order as
to the custody of the person so adjudged, and thereupon that
order shall supersede any order of committal or removal
made under the Act aforesaid and if any previous order of
committal or removal has been made, the judge shall cause
the Attorney-General to be notified of the application and
shall fix a day for hearing his objection (if any) thereto.
(2) On the application of any of the persons
mentioned in the preceding subsection, the judge may also, in
respect of the estate or property in Guyana of any of those
hereinafter mentioned, and whether they are or are not
resident or domiciled in Guyana, make any of the orders, or
exercise or direct to be exercised any of the powers, which a
judge in lunacy may make or exercise or direct to be exercised
under the Lunacy Act, 1890, of the United Kingdom and any
Act amending it.
(3) The persons in respect of whose estate or
property in Guyana any order may be made or power
exercised under the last preceding subsection are as follows—
(a) any lunatic or person of unsound
mind—
(i) so adjudged under the
Mental Hospital Act;
(ii) so found by inquisition
within the meaning of
the Lunacy Act, 1890, of
the United Kingdom
whether so adjudged
under the Mental
Hospital Act or not;
(iii) not so found or
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c. 3:02
adjudged, for the
administration of whose
property any order has
been made by a court of
competent jurisdiction in
any part of the United
Kingdom or in any
colony or dependency
thereof;
(b) anyone lawfully detained as a lunatic
or person of unsound mind though
not so found;
(c) anyone with regard to whom it is
proved to the satisfaction of the judge
by affidavit or otherwise that—
(i) he is, through mental
infirmity arising from
disease or age, incapable
of managing his affairs;
(ii) he is of unsound mind
and incapable of
managing his affairs:
(iii) he is or has been a
criminal lunatic and
continues to be insane
and in confinement.
(4) The practice and procedure of the High Court
under this section and the costs in relation thereto shall be
regulated by rules of court made under the High Court Act.
20. (1) All Acts, regulations, or rules, purporting to
protection or
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Declaration.
Monopolies.
confer any franchise, vote, appointing or nominating power,
or any right to be elected, appointed, or nominated to any
government, municipal, or other public office of honour or
emolument, shall apply and since the year 1838 have applied
equally to all British subjects or Commonwealth citizens of
every race or origin within Guyana without any distinction
whatsoever, and every British subject or Commonwealth
citizens possessing the qualifications (if any) prescribed
thereunder for exercising that power or holding that office
shall exercise or hold it, as the case may be, independently of
race or origin.
(2) All Acts, regulations, or rules, purporting to
confer upon British subjects or Commonwealth citizens any
right of trade, commerce, land holding, land transfer, lease or
mortgage of movable or immovable property, or any right of
association, or purporting to regulate the exercise thereof,
shall apply and since the year 1838 have always applied to all
British subjects or Commonwealth citizens resident within
Guyana.
(3) From and after the commencement of this Act,
all regulations and rules referred to in subsections (1) and (2)
of this section shall apply to all persons of East Indian race or
origin (not being subjects of any non- Indian foreign state)
whether those persons are British subjects, or British
protected persons, or subjects of any Indian native state.
(4) No British subject and no one of East Indian
race or origin (not being a subject of a non-Indian foreign
state) shall be subject to any legal, political, or other disability,
disqualification, or incapacity by reason only of his race or
place of origin.
21. The provisions of law contained in the Schedule
(being provisions relating to monopolies) shall have effect in
Guyana
.
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Royal
prerogative.
s. 22

Monopolies,
&c., shall be
tried by the
common law.
22. Except as specifically enacted, nothing in this Act
contained shall be deemed to limit or restrict the royal
prerogative as hitherto enjoyed by the British Crown under
the Roman-Dutch law of Guyana, and except as aforesaid that
prerogative shall as from the date aforesaid comprehend all
the pre-eminence and all the special dignities, liberties,
privileges, and powers conferred upon the Crown by the
common law of England.
SCHEDULE
PROVISIONS RELATING TO MONOPOLIES
1. All monopolies and all commissions, grants, licences,
charters, and letters patents heretofore made or granted, or
hereafter to be made or granted to any person or persons,
bodies politic or corporate whatsoever, of or for the sole
buying, selling, making, working, or using of anything within
Guyana, or of any other monopolies, or of power, liberty, or
faculty, to dispense with any others, or to give licence or
toleration to do, use, or exercise anything against the tenor or
purport of any law or statute; or to give or make any warrant
for any such dispensation, licence, or toleration to be had or
made; or to agree or compound with any others for any
penalty or forfeiture limited by any statute; or of any grant or
promise of the benefit, profit, or commodity of any forfeiture,
penalty, or sum of money that is or shall be due by any
statute before judgment thereupon had; and all
proclamations, inhibitions, restraints, warrants of assistance,
and all other matters and things whatsoever, any way tending
to the instituting, erecting, strengthening, furthering, or
countenancing of the same, or any of them, are altogether
contrary to the laws of Guyana, and so are and shall be utterly
void.
2. All monopolies, and all such commissions, grants,
licences, charters, letters patents, proclamations, inhibitions,
restraints, warrants of assistance, and all other matters and
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All persons
disabled to use
monopolies,
&c.
The party
grieved by
pretext of a
monopoly,
&c., shall
recover treble
damages and
double costs.
Validity of
patents for
fourteen years
or under, to
“true and first
inventor”.

things tending as aforesaid, and the force and validity of
them, and every of them, ought to be, and shall be hereafter
examined, heard, tried, and determined, by and according to
the common law, and not otherwise.
3. All persons whatsoever shall stand and be incapable of
having, using, exercising or putting into effect any monopoly,
or any such commission, grant, licence, charter, letters
patents, proclamation, inhibition, restraint, warrant of
assistance, or other matter or thing tending as aforesaid or
any liberty, power, or faculty grounded or pretended to be
grounded upon them or any of them.
4. If any person shall be hindered, grieved, disturbed, or
disquieted, or his or their goods or chattels any way seized,
attached, distrained, taken, carried away, or detained by
occasion or pretext of any monopoly, or of any such
commission, grant, licence, power, liberty, faculty, letters
patents, proclamation, inhibition, restraint, warrant of
assistance, or other matter or thing tending as aforesaid, and
will sue to be relieved in or for any of the premises, that in
every such case the same person shall and may have his
remedy for the same at the common law by action in the High
Court to be grounded upon this statute; wherein such person
shall recover three times so much as the damages which he
sustained by means or occasion of being so hindered, grieved,
disturbed, or disquieted, or by means of having his goods or
chattels seized, attached, distrained, taken, carried away, or
detained, and double costs.
5. Any declaration before mentioned shall not extend to
any letters patents and grants of privilege for the term of
fourteen years or under, hereafter to be made, of the sole
working or making of any manner of new manufactures
within this realm to the true and first inventor and inventors
of such manufactures, which others at the time of making
such letters patents and grants shall not use, so as also they be
not contrary to the law nor mischievous to the state by raising
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Proviso.
prices of commodities at home, or hurt of trade, or generally
inconvenient: the said fourteen years to be accounted from
the date of the first letters patents or grant of such privilege
hereafter to be made, but that the same shall of such force as
they should be if this act had never been made, and of none
other.
6. Nothing contained in any of the provisions of the
Schedule shall in any wise extend or be prejudicial to any
grant or privilege, power, or authority whatsoever heretofore
made, granted, allowed, or confirmed by any enactment now
in force, so long as the same shall so continue in force.
ENGLISH STATUTES ADAPTED, INCORPORATED, OR
REFERRED TO IN THIS ACT
Adapted by section 3 (d)(iv) Statute of Frauds, 1677, (29
Chas. II. c. 3).
(v) Auctions of Land Act, 1867.
Adapted by section 5. Statute of Distributions 1670,
(22 and 23 Chas, II. c. 10); 1
James II, c. 17, s. 7; Intestate
Estates Act, 1890.
Incorporated by section 6. Wills Act, 1837, (except section
7).
Adapted by section 6. Thelusson Act, 1798.
Accumulations Act, 1892.
Incorporated by section 7. Preamble to 43 Eliz. c. 4.
Adapted by Section 8. (13 Eliz. c. 5,) as to voluntary
(27 Eliz. c.4,) conveyances
and settlements.
Incorporated by section 10. Trustee Acts, 1893 and 1894.
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Referred to in section 10. Colonial Stock Acts, 1877 and
1892.
Incorporated by section 15. Habeas Corpus Act, 1679, (31
Car. II. c. 2).
Adapted by section 16. Supreme Court of Judicature
Act, 1873, s. 25(6).
Adapted by section 17. Statute of Frauds, 1677.
Adapted by section 18. 3 and 4 W. 4 c. 41.
Adapted by section 19. Lunacy Act, 1890, and
amending Acts.
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