Chapter 006:02 - Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions)

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L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
LAW REFORM (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT
CHAPTER 6:02
Act
21 of 1932
Amended by
45 of 1952 29 of 1961 14 of 1988

Current Authorised Pages
Pages
(inclusive)
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by L.R.O.
1 – 17 ... 1/2012





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Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.


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CHAPTER 6:02
LAW REFORM (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
1. Short title.
PART I
CAPACITY, PROPERTY AND LIABILITIES OF MARRIED
WOMEN; AND LIABILITIES OF HUSBANDS;
ABOLITION OF PRESUMPTION OF COERCION OF WIFE BY
HUSBAND
2. Capacity of married women.
3. Property of married women.
4. Abolition of husband’s liability for wife’s torts and ante-nuptial
contracts, debts and obligations.
5. Savings.
6. Abolition of presumption of coercion of wife by husband.
PART II
PROCEEDINGS AGAINST, AND CONTRIBUTIONS BETWEEN,
TORTFEASORS
7. Proceedings against, and contribution between joint and several
tortfeasors.
PART III
CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE AND FOR PURPOSES
CONNECTED THEREWITH
8. Interpretation.
9. Apportionment of liability in case of contributory negligence.
10. Saving for Maritime Conventions Act, 1911, and past cases.

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SECTION
PART IV
EFFECT OF DEATH ON CERTAIN CAUSES OF ACTION
11. Effect of death on certain causes of action.
PART V
INTEREST ON DEBTS, DAMAGES AND JUDGMENTS
12. Power of the courts to award interest on debts, damages and
judgments.
__________________________
1953 Ed.
c. 4 _______________________________________________________
45 of 1952 An Act to amend the law relating to the capacity, property
and liabilities of married women, and the liabilities of
husbands and to abolish the presumption of coercion of
a wife by a husband; to amend the law relating to
proceedings against, and contribution between,
tortfeasors; to amend the law relating to contributory
negligence; to amend the law as to the effect of death in
relation to causes of action and as to the awarding of
interest in civil proceedings.
[PARTS I, III, IV and V- 7TH DECEMEBR, 1952
PART II- 1ST APRIL, 1954]
Short title.
1. This Act may be cited as the Law Reform
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.
CHAPTER 6:02
LAW REFORM (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS)
ACT

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Capacity of
married
women.
c. 45:04

Property of
married
women.
PART I
CAPACITY, PROPERTY AND LIABILITIES OF MARRIED
WOMEN; AND LIABILITIES OF HUSBANDS;
ABOLITION OF PRESUMPTION OF COERCION OF WIFE
BY HUSBAND
2. Subject to this Part and subject, as respects actions
in tort between husband and wife, to section 12 of the
Married Persons (Property) Act, a married woman shall—
(a) be capable of acquiring, holding and
disposing of, any property; and
(b) be capable of rendering herself, and being
rendered, liable in respect of any tort,
contract, debt, or obligation; and
(c) be capable of suing and being sued, either in
tort or in contract or otherwise; and
(d) be subject to the law relating to insolvency
and to the enforcement of judgments and
orders,
in all respects as if she were unmarried.
3. (1) Subject to this Part, all property which—
(a) immediately before the passing of this
Act was the separate property of a
married woman or held for her
separate use in equity; or
(b) belongs at the time of her marriage to
a woman married after the passing of
this Act; or
(c) after the passing of this Act is
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acquired by or devolves upon a
married woman other than a woman
married in community of property,
shall belong to her in all respects as if she were unmarried
and may be disposed of accordingly:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall interfere
with or render inoperative any restriction upon anticipation
or alienation attached to the enjoyment of any property by
virtue of any provision attaching such a restriction, contained
in any Act passed before the passing of this Act, or in any
instrument executed before the 1st January, 1953.
(2) Any instrument executed on or after the 1st
January, 1953, shall, in so far as it purports to attach to the
enjoyment of any property by a woman any restriction upon
anticipation or alienation which could not have been attached
to the enjoyment of that property by a man, be void.
(3) For the purposes of the provisions of this
section relating to restrictions upon anticipation or
alienation—
(a) an instrument attaching such a
restriction as aforesaid executed on or
after the 1st January, 1953, in
pursuance of an obligation imposed
before that date to attach such a
restriction shall be deemed to have
been executed before the said 1st
January;
(b) a provision contained in an
instrument made in exercise of a
special power of appointment shall be
deemed to be contained in that
instrument only and not in the
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Abolition of
husband’s
liability for
wife’s torts and
ante-nuptial
contracts, debts
and
obligations.
Savings.
instrument by which the power was
created; and
(c) the will of any testator who dies after
the 31st December, 1962, shall
(notwithstanding the actual date of
the execution thereof) be deemed to
have been executed after 1st January,
1953.
4. Subject to this Part the husband of a married
woman shall not, by reason only of his being her husband, be
liable—
(a) in respect of any tort committed by her
whether before or after the marriage, or in
respect of any contract entered into, or debt
or obligation incurred, by her before the
marriage; or
(b) be sued, or made a party to any legal
proceeding brought, in respect of any such
tort, contract, debt, or obligation.
5. (1) Nothing in this Part shall—
(a) during the coverture which began
before the 20th August, 1904, affect
any property to which the title
(whether vested or contingent, and
whether in possession, reversion, or
remainder) of a married woman
accrued before that date, except
property held for her separate use in
equity;
(b) affect any legal proceeding in respect
of any tort if proceedings have been
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instituted in respect thereof before the
passing of this Act;
(c) enable any judgment or order against
a married woman in respect of a
contract entered into, or debt or
obligation incurred, before the
passing of this Act, to be enforced in
solvency or to be enforced otherwise
than against her property.
(2) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared
that nothing in this Part—
(a) renders the husband of a married
woman liable in respect of any
contract entered into, or debt or
obligation incurred, by her after the
marriage in respect of which he
would not have been liable if this Act
had not been passed;
(b) exempts the husband of a married
woman from liability in respect of any
contract entered into, or debt or
obligation (not being a debt or
obligation arising out of the
commission of a tort) incurred, by her
after the marriage in respect of which
he would have been liable if this Act
had not been passed;
(c) prevents a husband and wife from
acquiring, holding, and disposing of,
any property jointly or as tenants in
common, or from rendering
themselves, or being rendered, jointly
liable in respect of any tort, contract,
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Abolition of
presumption of
coercion of wife
by husband.
[21 of 1932]

Proceedings
against, and
contribution
between joint
and several
tortfeasors.
debt or obligation, and of suing and
being sued either in tort or in contract
or otherwise, in like manner as if they
were not married;
(d) prevents the exercise of any joint
power given to a husband and wife.
6. Any presumption of law that an offence committed
by a wife in the presence of her husband is committed under
the coercion of her husband is hereby abolished, but on a
charge against a wife for any offence other than treason or
murder it shall be a good defence to prove that the offence
was committed in the presence of, and under the coercion of,
the husband.
PART II
PROCEEDINGS AGAINST, AND CONTRIBUTIONS
BETWEEN, TORTFEASORS
7. (1) Where damage is suffered by any person as a
result of a tort (whether a crime or not)—
(a) judgment recovered against any
tortfeasor liable in respect of that
damage shall not be a bar to an action
against any other person who would,
if sued, have been liable as a joint
tortfeasor in respect of the same
damage;
(b) if more than one action is brought in
respect of that damage by or on behalf
of the person by whom it was
suffered, or for the benefit of the
estate, or of the wife, husband, parent
or child, of that person, against
tortfeasors liable in respect of the
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damage (whether as joint tortfeasors
or otherwise) the sums recoverable
under the judgments given in those
actions by way of damages shall not
in the aggregate exceed the amount of
the damages awarded by the
judgment first given; and in any of
those actions, other than that in which
judgment is first given, the plaintiff
shall not be entitled to costs unless the
court is of the opinion that there was
reasonable ground for bringing the
action;
(c) any tortfeasor liable in respect of that
damage may recover contribution
from any other tortfeasor who is, or
would if sued have been liable in
respect of the same damage, whether
as a joint tortfeasor or otherwise, so,
however, that no person shall be
entitled to recover contribution under
this section from any person entitled
to be indemnified by him in respect of
the liability in respect of which the
contribution is sought.
(2) In any proceedings for contribution under this
section the amount of contribution recoverable from any
person shall be such as may be found by the court to be just
and equitable having regard to the extent of that person’s
responsibility for the damage; and the court shall have power
to exempt any person from liability to make contribution, or
to direct that the contribution to be recovered from any
person shall amount to a complete indemnity.
(3) For the purposes of this section –

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(a) (i) “parent” includes
father and mother, and
grandfather and grandmother,
and stepfather and stepmother;
“child” includes son and
daughter, and grandson and
granddaughter, and stepson
and stepdaughter;
(ii) a person shall be deemed to be
the parent or child of another
person notwithstanding that
he is or was only related to him
illegitimately; and accordingly
in deducing any relationship
which, under this Part only, is
included within the meaning
of the expression “parent” and
“child”, any illegitimate person
shall be treated as being, or as
having been, the legitimate
offspring of his mother and
reputed father;
(b) the reference in this section to
“judgment first given” shall, in a case
where that judgment is reversed on
appeal, be construed as a reference to
the judgment first given which is not
so reversed and, in a case where a
judgment is varied on appeal, be
construed as a reference to that
judgment as so varied.
(4) Nothing in this section shall—
(a) apply with respect to any tort
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Interpretation.
Cap. 111
1953 Ed.

Apportionment
of liability in
case of
contributory
negligence.
committed before the commencement
of this Part; or
(b) affect any criminal proceedings
against any person in respect of any
wrongful act; or
(c) render enforceable any agreement for
indemnity which would not have
been enforceable if this section had
not been passed.
PART III
CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE AND FOR PURPOSES
CONNECTED THEREWITH
8. In this Part—
“damage” includes loss of life and personal injury;
“dependant” means any person for whose benefit an
action could be brought under the Accidental Deaths and
Workmen’s Injuries (Compensation) Ordinance, and any Act
amending the same or substituted therefor;
“fault” means negligence, breach of statutory duty or
other act or omission which gives rise to a liability in tort, or
would, apart from this Part, give rise to a defence of
contributory negligence.
9. (1) Where any person suffers damage as the result
partly of his own fault and partly of the fault of any other
person or persons, a claim in respect of that damage shall not
be defeated by reason of the fault of the person suffering the
damage, but the damages recoverable in respect thereof shall
be reduced to such extent as the court thinks just and
equitable having regard to the claimant’s share in the
responsibility for the damage:
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Cap. 111
1953 Ed.
Provided that—
(a) this subsection shall not operate to
defeat any defence arising under a
contract;
(b) where any contract or enactment
providing for the limitation of liability
is applicable to the claim, the amount
of damages recoverable by the
claimant by virtue of this subsection
shall not exceed the maximum limit
so applicable.

(2) Where damages are recoverable by any person
by virtue of the foregoing subsection subject to such reduction
as is therein mentioned, the court shall find and record the
total damages which would have been recoverable if the
claimant had not been at fault.
(3) Section 7 shall apply in any case where two or
more persons are liable or would, if they had all been sued, be
liable by virtue of subsection (1) of this section in respect of
the damage suffered by any person.
(4) Where any person dies as the result partly of
his own fault and partly of the fault of any other person or
persons, and accordingly if an action were brought for the
benefit of the estate under Part IV, the damages recoverable
would be reduced under subsection (1), any damages
recoverable in an action brought for the benefit of the
dependants of that person under the Accidental Deaths and
Workmen’s Injuries (Compensation) Ordinance shall be
reduced to a proportionate extent.
(5) Where in any case to which subsection (1)
applies, one of the persons at fault avoids liability to any
other such person or his personal representative by pleading
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c. 7:02
22 & 23 Geo. 5,
c. 36.
Saving for
Maritime
Conventions
Act, 1911 and
past cases.
1 & 2 Geo. 5,
c. 57.
Effect of death
on certain
causes.
[14 of 1988]
the Limitation Act, or any other enactment limiting the time
within which proceedings may be taken, he shall not be
entitled to recover any damages or contributions from that
other person or representative by virtue of the said
subsection.
(6) Article 21 of the Convention contained in the
First Schedule to the applied Act entitled the Carriage by Air
Act, 1932, (which empowers a court to exonerate wholly or
partly a carrier who proves that the damage was caused by or
contributed to by the negligence of the injured person), as
extended to Guyana by the applied law entitled the Carriage
by Air (Colonies, Protectorates and Mandated Territories)
Order, 1934, shall have effect subject to this section.
10. (1) This Part shall not apply to any claim in which
section one of the applied Act entitled the Maritime
Conventions Act, 1911, applies and that Act shall have effect
as if this Part had not been passed.
(2) This Part shall not apply to any case where
the acts or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred before
the passing of this Part.
PART IV
EFFECT OF DEATH ON CERTAIN CAUSES OF ACTION
11. (1) Subject to this section, on the death of any
person after the commencement of this Part, all causes of
action subsisting against or vested in him shall survive
against, or, as the case may be, for the benefit of, his estate:
Provided that this subsection shall not apply to causes of
action for defamation, or seduction, or for inducing one
spouse to leave or remain apart from the other or to claims for
damages on the ground of adultery.
(2) Where a cause of action survives as aforesaid
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for the benefit of the estate of a deceased person, the damages
recoverable for the benefit of the estate of that person—
(a) shall not include –
(i) any exemplary damages;
(ii) any damages for loss of
income in respect of any
period after that person’s
death;
(b) in the case of a breach of promise to
marry shall be limited to such
damage, if any, to the estate of that
person as flows from the breach of
promise to marry;
(c) where the death of that person has
been caused by the act or omission
which gives rise to the cause of action,
shall be calculated without reference
to any loss or gain to his estate
consequent on his death, except that a
sum in respect of funeral expenses
may be included.
(3) No proceedings shall be maintainable in respect
of a cause of action in tort which by virtue of this section has
survived against the estate of a deceased person, unless
either—
(a) proceedings against him in respect of
that cause of action were pending at
the date of his death; or
(b) the cause of action arose not earlier
than six months before his death and
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Cap. 111
1953 Ed.
proceedings are taken in respect
thereof not later than six months after
his personal representative took out
representation.
(4) Where damage has been suffered by reason of
any act or omission in respect of which a cause of action
would have subsisted against any person if that person had
not died before or at the same time as the damage was
suffered, there shall be deemed, for the purposes of this Part,
to have been subsisting against him before his death such
cause of action in respect of that act or omission as would
have subsisted if he had died after the damage was suffered.
(5) The rights conferred by this Part for the benefit
of the estates of deceased persons shall be in addition to and
not in derogation of any rights conferred on the dependants
of deceased persons by the Accidental Deaths and Workmen’s
Injuries (Compensation) Ordinances or the applied Act
entitled the Carriage of Air Act, 1932, as applied to Guyana by
the applied law entitled the Carriage by Air (Colonies,
Protectorates and Mandated Territories) Order, 1934, and so
much of this Part as relates to causes of action against the
estates of deceased persons shall apply in relation to causes of
action under said Acts as it applies in relation to other causes
of action not expressly excepted from the operation of
subsection (1).
(6) In the event of the insolvency of an estate
against which proceedings are maintainable by virtue of this
section, any liability in respect of the cause of action in respect
of which the proceedings are maintainable shall be deemed to
be a debt provable in the administration of the estate,
notwithstanding that it is a demand in the nature of
unliquidated damages arising otherwise than by a contract,
promise or breach of trust.

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Power of the
courts to award
interest on
debts, damages
and judgments.
[29 of 1961]
PART V
INTEREST.ON DEBTS, DAMAGES AND JUDGMENTS
12. (1) In any proceedings tried in any court for the
recovery of any debt or damages, the court may, if it thinks
fit, order that there should be included in the sum for which
judgment is given interest at such rate not exceeding six per
cent per annum as it thinks fit on the whole or any part of the
debt or damages for the whole or any part of the period
between the date when the cause of action arose and the date
of the judgment:
Provided that nothing in this section—
(a) shall authorise the giving of interest
upon interest;
(b) shall apply in relation to any debt
upon which interest is payable as of
right whether by virtue of any
agreement or otherwise; or
(c) shall affect the damages recoverable
for the dishonour of a bill of
exchange.
(2) Every judgment shall carry interest at the rate
of four per cent per annum from the time of entering the
judgment until the same shall be satisfied, and such interest
may be levied under a writ of execution on such judgment.
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