Chapter 006:05 - State Liability and Proceedings

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/455-chapter-605-state-liability-and-proceedings/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
STATE LIABILITY AND PROCEEDINGS ACT
CHAPTER 6:05
Act
20 of 1984
Amended by
11 of 1989
Current Authorised Pages
Pages
(inclusive)
Authorised
by L.R.O.
1 – 17 ... 1/2012





LAWS OF GUYANA
2 Cap. 6:05 State Liability and Proceedings
L.R.O. 1/2012
Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation

LAWS OF GUYANA
State Liability and Proceedings Cap. 6:05 3
L.R.O. 1/2012
CHAPTER 6:05
STATE LIABILITY AND PROCEEDINGS ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION PART I
PRELIMINARY
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
PART II
SUBSTANTIVE LAW
3. Liability of the State in tort.
4. Provisions as to industrial property.
5. Application of law as to indemnity, contribution, joint and several
tortfeasors and contributory negligence.
6. Salvage claims against the State and State rights to salvage.
7. Provisions relating to the armed forces.
8. Saving in respect of acts done under prerogative and statutory
powers.
PART III
JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURE
9. Right to sue the State.
10. Enforcement of claims by or against the State.
11. Service of documents.
12. Time for appearance and other steps.
13. Interpleader proceedings.
14. Judgment and proceedings thereon.
15. Appeal.
16. Discovery, injunction and specific performance.
17. Procedures.
18. Recovery of certain claims by parate execution.

LAWS OF GUYANA
4 Cap. 6:05 State Liability and Proceedings
L.R.O. 1/2012
SECTION
PART IV
MISCELLANEOUS
19. Proceedings in rem.
20. State entitled to rely on written law applicable to private parties as
a defence to an action.
21. Application of other written law to the State.
22. Regulations.
__________________________
CHAPTER 6:05
STATE LIABILITY AND PROCEEDINGS ACT
_
20 of 1984 An Act to amend the law relating to the civil liabilities and
rights of the State and for matters connected therewith.
[27TH DECEMBER, 1984]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title.
Interpretation.
1. This Act may be cited as the State Liability and
Proceedings Act.
2. In this Act—
“agent”, in relation to the State, does not include an
independent contractor employed by the State;
“armed forces of the State” means the Guyana Defence
Force and any such organisation for the time being
constituted for the purpose of defence of the State as
may be specified by order made by the Minister
responsible for defence;
“Minister responsible for defence” means, where there is
LAWS OF GUYANA
State Liability and Proceedings Cap. 6:05 5
L.R.O. 1/2012
Liability of the
State in tort.
no Minister assigned responsibility for defence, the
President;
“officer”, in relation to the State, means any person
engaged in any employment for emolument under the
Government and includes a Minister;
“ship” includes every description of vessel used in
navigation not propelled by oars.
PART II
SUBSTANTIVE LAW
3. (1) Subject to this Act, the State shall be subject to
all those liabilities in tort to which, if it were a private person
of full age and capacity, it would be subject—
(a) in respect of torts committed by its
officers or agents;
(b) in respect of any breach of those
duties which a person owes to his
servants or agents at common law by
reason of being their employer; and
(c) in respect of any breach of those
duties attaching at common law to the
ownership, occupation, possession or
control of property.
(2) No proceedings shall lie against the State by
virtue of subsection (1) (a) in respect of an act or omission of
an officer or agent of the State unless the act or omission
would, apart from this Act, have given rise to a cause of
action in tort against that officer or agent or his estate.
(3) Where the State is bound by a duty imposed by
or under any written law, being a duty which is binding also
upon persons other than the State and its officers, then,
LAWS OF GUYANA
6 Cap. 6:05 State Liability and Proceedings
L.R.O. 1/2012
Provisions as to
industrial
property.
c. 90:03
subject to this Act, the State shall, in respect of a failure to
comply with that duty, be subject to all those liabilities in tort
(if any) to which it would be subject if it were a private person
of full age and capacity.
(4) Where any functions are conferred or imposed
upon an officer of the State as such either by any rule of
common law or by any written law and that officer commits a
tort while performing or purporting to perform those
functions, the liabilities of the State in respect of the tort shall
be such as they would have been if those functions had been
conferred or imposed solely by virtue of instructions lawfully
given by the State.
(5) Any written law which negatives or limits the
amount of the liability of any officer of the State in respect of
any tort committed by that officer shall, in the case of
proceedings against the State under this section in respect of a
tort committed by that officer, apply in relation to the State as
it would have applied in relation to that officer if the
proceedings against the State had been proceedings against
that officer.
(6) No proceedings shall lie against the State by
virtue of this section in respect of anything done or omitted to
be done by any person while discharging or purporting to
discharge any responsibilities of a judicial nature vested in
him or any responsibilities which he has in connection with
the execution of judicial process.
4. (1) Where any officer or agent of the State infringes
a patent, a registered trade mark or any copyright (including
any copyright in a design subsisting under the Patents and
Designs Act) and the infringement is committed with the
authority of the State, then, subject to the provisions of this
Act, civil proceedings in respect of the infringement shall lie
against the State.
(2) Nothing in the preceding subsection or in any
LAWS OF GUYANA
State Liability and Proceedings Cap. 6:05 7
L.R.O. 1/2012
c. 90:03

Application of
law as
indemnity,
contribution,
joint and
several tort-
feasors and
contributory
negligence.
c. 6:02
1 & 2 Geo.
5c. 57

Salvage claims
against the
State and State
rights to
salvage.
c. 49:01
other provisions of this Act shall affect the rights of any
department of the Government under sections 33 and 72 of
the Patents and Designs Act.
(3) Save as expressly provided by this section, no
proceedings shall lie against the State by virtue of this Act in
respect of the infringement of a patent, a registered trade
mark or any such copyright as is mentioned in subsection (1).
5. (1) Where the State is subject to any liability by
virtue of this Part, the law relating to indemnity and
contribution shall be enforceable by or against the State in
respect of the liability to which it is so subject as if the State
were a private person of full age and capacity.
(2) Without prejudice to the effect of subsection
(1)—
(a) Parts II and III of the Law Reform
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act shall
bind the State;
(b) sections 1, 2 and 3 of the applied Act
entitled the Maritime Convention Act,
1911, shall apply in the case of vessels
belonging to the State as they apply in
the case of other vessels.
(3) In this section “vessels” has the same meaning
as in the aforesaid Maritime Convention Act, 1911.
6. (1) Subject to this Act, the law relating to civil
salvage whether of life or property as set out in the Guyana
Shipping Act shall apply in relation to salvage services
rendered in assisting any ship or aircraft belonging to the
State or employed by the State and in its exclusive possession,
or in saving life therefrom or in saving any cargo or apparel
belonging to the State in the same manner as if the ship,
aircraft, cargo or apparel belonged to a private person.
LAWS OF GUYANA
8 Cap. 6:05 State Liability and Proceedings
L.R.O. 1/2012

Provisions
relating to the
armed forces.
(2) Where salvage services are rendered by or on
behalf of the State, the State shall be entitled to claim salvage
in respect of those services to the same extent as any other
salvor and shall have the same rights and remedies in respect
of those services as any other salvor.
7. (1) Nothing done or omitted to be done by a
member of the armed forces of the State while on duty as such
shall subject either that member or the State to liability in tort
for causing the death of another person or for causing
personal injury to another person in so far as the death or
personal injury is due to anything suffered by that other
person while he is a member of the armed forces of the State
if—
(a) at the time when that thing is suffered
by that other person, he is either on
duty as a member of the armed forces
of the State or is, though not on duty
as such, on any land, premises, ship,
aircraft or vehicle for the time being
used for the purposes of the armed
forces of the State; and
(b) the Minister responsible for defence
certifies that the suffering of that
thing by that other person has been or
will be treated as attributable to
service for the purpose of entitlement
to a pension, gratuity, award or other
benefit from the State.
(2) Subsection (1) does not exempt a member of
the armed forces of the State from liability in tort in any case
in which the court is satisfied that the act or omission was not
connected with the execution of duties as a member of those
forces.

LAWS OF GUYANA
State Liability and Proceedings Cap. 6:05 9
L.R.O. 1/2012
(3) No proceedings in tort shall lie against the
State for death or personal injury due to anything suffered by
a member of the armed forces of the State if—
(a) the thing is suffered by him in
consequence of the nature or
condition of any such land, premises,
ship, aircraft or vehicle as mentioned
in subsection (1) or in consequence of
the nature or condition of any
equipment or supplies used for the
purposes of those forces; and
(b) the Minister responsible for defence
certifies as mentioned in subsection
(1),
nor shall any act or omission of an officer of the State subject
him to liability in tort for death or persona1 injury in so far as
the death or personal injury is due to anything suffered by a
member of the armed forces of the State, being a thing as to
which the conditions mentioned above are satisfied.
(4) The Minister responsible for defence, if satisfied
that it is the fact—
(a) that a person was or was not on any
particular occasion on duty as a
member of the armed forces of the
State; or
(b) that at any particular time any land,
premises, ship, aircraft, vehicle,
equipment or supplies was or was
not, or were or were not, used for the
purposes of the said forces,
may issue and, at the request in writing of any injured person,
shall issue a certificate certifying that to be the fact, and any
LAWS OF GUYANA
10 Cap. 6:05 State Liability and Proceedings
L.R.O. 1/2012
Saving in
respect of Acts
done under
prerogative
and statutory
powers.
Right to sue the
State.
such certificate shall, for the purposes of this section, be
conclusive evidence of the fact which it certifies.
8. (1) Nothing in this Part shall extinguish or abridge
any powers or authorities which, if this Act had not been
passed, would have been exercisable by virtue of the
prerogative of the State or any powers or authorities
conferred on the State by any written law and, in particular,
nothing in this Part shall extinguish or abridge any powers or
authorities exercisable by the State, whether in time of peace
or war, for the purpose of the defence of the State or of
training, or maintaining the efficiency of, any of the armed
forces of the State.
(2) Where, in any proceedings under this Act, it is
material to determine whether anything was properly done or
omitted to be done in the exercise of the prerogative of the
State, the Minister responsible for defence may, if satisfied
that the act or omission was necessary for any purpose
mentioned in subsection (1), issue a certificate to the effect
that the act or omission was necessary for that purpose; and
the certificate shall, in those proceedings, be conclusive as to
the matter so certified.
PART III
JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURE
9. (1) All claims against the State which, before the
commencement of this Act, might with the consent of the
Minister, have been—
(a) brought in the High Court in a suit
instituted by the claimant as plaintiff
against the Attorney General as
defendant or any other officer
authorized by law, or from time to
time designated for that purpose by
the Minister; or

LAWS OF GUYANA
State Liability and Proceedings Cap. 6:05 11
L.R.O. 1/2012
c. 7:01


Enforcement
of claims by or
against the
State.
c. 3:02
(b) enforced by proceedings instituted in
a magistrate’s court against the
Attorney General or other officer
referred to in paragraph (a) under the
Summary Jurisdiction (Petty Debt)
Act,
may after the commencement of this Act, be enforced, subject
to the provisions of this Act, as of right, and without the fiat
of the Minister, by proceedings instituted against the State in
accordance with this Act.
(2) In this section “claims against the State”
includes a claim by way of set-off or counter-claim raised in
proceedings by the State.
10. (1) Except as otherwise provided in any written
law before the commencement of this Act, not being any
provision of a written law repealed by this Act, proceedings
for the enforcement of any claim by or against the State shall
be brought by or against the Attorney General and may be
instituted—
(a) where the amount or the value of the
claim is within the pecuniary limits of
the civil jurisdiction of a magistrate’s
court, in a magistrate’s court in
accordance with the Summary
Jurisdiction Acts (including the rules
of court regulating the practice and
procedure of the magistrate’s courts
in the exercise of their civil
jurisdiction); and
(b) in all other cases, in the High Court in
accordance with the High Court Act
(including the rules of court
regulating the practice and procedure
of the High Court in the exercise of its
LAWS OF GUYANA
12 Cap. 6:05 State Liability and Proceedings
L.R.O. 1/2012

Service of
documents.

Time for
appearance
and other steps.
Interpleader
proceedings.
civil jurisdiction),
as if the claim is a claim by or against a private party.
(2) In subsection (1) and section 17, the expression
“Summary Jurisdiction Acts” means the Acts for the time
being in force regulating the summary jurisdiction of
magistrates in respect of civil causes and matters.
11. All documents which in proceedings of the same
nature between private parties would be required to be
served upon the defendant shall in proceedings against the
State be delivered at the Chambers of the Attorney General or
at the office of any other officer designated for the purpose by
the Minister.
12. Where civil proceedings are instituted against the
State, the Attorney General or any other officer authorised by
him in writing shall, if the Attorney General decides to
oppose the claim in the proceedings, enter an appearance or
appear, as the case may be, within such time as may be
specified in the writ of summons, petition or the summons, as
the case may be, or allowed by any written law and take such
other steps in the proceedings within such time as may be
prescribed by or under rules of court as if the proceedings
were proceedings between private parties subject however to
any directions that may be given by the judge or magistrate,
as the case may be.
13. The State may obtain relief by way of interpleader
proceedings, and may be made a party to such proceedings,
in the same manner in which a private party may obtain relief
by way of such proceedings or be made a party thereto and
may be made a party to such proceedings notwithstanding
that the application for relief is made by a marshal, bailiff or
other similar officer and all rules of court relating to
interpleader proceedings in the High Court or magistrate’s
court shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have effect
accordingly.

LAWS OF GUYANA
State Liability and Proceedings Cap. 6:05 13
L.R.O. 1/2012
Judgment and
proceedings
thereon.
Appeal.

Discovery,
injunction and
specific
performance.
14. Wherever in any civil proceedings against the
State judgment or order is given or made against the State, no
execution shall issue thereon, but a copy of the judgment or
order under the seal of the High Court or certified by the
clerk of the magistrate’s court, as the case may be, shall be
transmitted by the Registrar of the High Court or the clerk of
the magistrate’s court, as the case may be, to the Minister
responsible for finance, and if the judgment or order is for the
payment of money, that Minister shall, by warrant under his
hand, direct the amount awarded thereby to be paid and, in
case of any other judgment or order, shall take all measures
necessary to cause it to be carried into effect.
15. Any judgment or order in civil proceedings by or
against the State shall be subject to appeal in the same manner
as if it had been given or made in proceedings between
private parties.
16. (1) Subject to and in accordance with rules of
court–
(a) in any civil proceedings in the High
Court to which the State is a party or
third party the State may be required
by the court to make discovery of
documents and produce documents
for inspection; and
(b) in any proceedings as mentioned in
paragraph (a) the State may be
required by the court to answer
interrogatories.
(2) Subsection (1) shall be without prejudice to any
rule of law which authorises or requires the withholding of
any document or the refusal to answer any question on the
ground that the disclosure of the document or the answering
of the question would be injurious to the public interest.
(3) Any order of the court made under the powers
LAWS OF GUYANA
14 Cap. 6:05 State Liability and Proceedings
L.R.O. 1/2012
Procedures.
conferred by subsection (1) (b) shall direct by what officer of
the State the interrogatories are to be answered.
(4) Without prejudice to subsection (2) any rules of
court made for the purpose of this section shall be such as to
secure that the existence of a document will not be disclosed,
if, in the opinion of the Attorney General, it would be
injurious to the public interest to disclose the existence
thereof.
(5) In any civil proceedings by or against the State
the court, subject to this Act, may make all such orders as it
may make in proceedings between citizens, and otherwise to
give the appropriate relief as the case may require.
(6) Where in any proceedings against the State any
relief is sought as might in proceedings between citizens be
granted by way of injunction or specific performance the
court shall not grant an injunction or make an order for
specific performance but may in lieu thereof make an order
declaratory of the rights of the parties.
(7) In any proceedings against the State for the
recovery of land or other property, the court shall not make
an order for the recovery of the land or the delivery of the
property, but may in lieu thereof make an order declaring
that the plaintiff is entitled as against the State to the land or
property or to the possession thereof.
(8) The court shall not in any civil proceedings
grant any injunction or make any order against an officer of
the State if the effect of granting the injunction or making the
order would be to give any relief against the State which
would not have been obtained in proceedings against the
State.
17. So far as applicable and except in so far as is
inconsistent with the other provisions of this Part, all the
powers, authorities and provisions contained in the High
LAWS OF GUYANA
State Liability and Proceedings Cap. 6:05 15
L.R.O. 1/2012
c. 3:02

Recovery of
certain claims
by parate
execution.
[11 of 1989]
Court Act or Summary Jurisdiction Acts (including the rules
of court regulating the practice and procedure of the High
Court and magistrate’s courts in the exercise of their civil
jurisdiction), as the case may be, shall extend and apply to
proceedings by or against the State and in all such
proceedings costs shall be awarded in the same manner as in
proceedings between private parties.
18. (1) All taxes, imposts, dues and sums of money
payable to the State shall be recoverable by parate or
summary execution and the signature of the Accountant
General or other officer authorised to recover them
subscribed to any document setting forth or containing a
statement of the amount claimed, or due, shall without proof
of that signature and without proof of any other matter or
thing, be held and be deemed to be in all courts, and by all
judges and magistrates, prima facie evidence of the amount
claimed being in every particular correct.
(2) Whenever parate or summary execution is
hereafter issued, the defendant shall be notified that the
amount due is payable within six days of the service of the
process in execution upon him if he resides outside the
boundaries of the City of Georgetown and within three days
if he resides within the City of Georgetown.
(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby
declared that—
(a) this section shall apply to the recovery
of all fines and other pecuniary
penalties imposed under any written
law; and
(b) parate or summary execution under
this section may be issued against
movable and immovable property.

LAWS OF GUYANA
16 Cap. 6:05 State Liability and Proceedings
L.R.O. 1/2012

Proceedings in
rem.

State entitled to
rely on written
law applicable
to private
parties as a
defence to an
action.
c. 2:01
PART IV
MISCELLANEOUS
19. (1) Nothing in this Act shall authorise proceedings
in rem in respect of any claim against the State or the arrest,
detention, or sale of any ship or aircraft belonging to the State
or of any cargo or other property belonging to the State or
give to any person any lien on any such ship, aircraft, cargo or
other property.
(2) Where proceedings in rem have been
instituted in any court against any such ship, aircraft, cargo or
other property, the court may, if satisfied, either on the
application by the plaintiff for an order under this subsection
or on the application by the State to set aside the proceedings,
that the proceedings were so instituted by the plaintiff in the
reasonable belief that the ship, aircraft, cargo or other
property did not belong to the State, order that the
proceedings shall be treated as if they were in personam duly
instituted against the State in accordance with this Act, or
duly instituted against any other person whom the court
regards as the proper person to be sued in the circumstances
and that the proceedings shall continue accordingly.
(3) Any order under subsection (2) may be made
upon such terms, if any, as the court deems just; and where
the court makes any such order it may make such
consequential order as the court deems expedient.
20. Nothing in this Act shall prejudice the right of the
State under section 55 of the Interpretation and General
Clauses Act to take advantage of the provisions of any written
law although such written law does not affect the rights of the
State and accordingly in any proceedings against the State the
provisions of any written law which could, if the proceedings
were between private parties, be relied upon by the defendant
as a defence to the proceedings may, subject to any express
provision to the contrary, be so relied upon by the State.

LAWS OF GUYANA
State Liability and Proceedings Cap. 6:05 17
L.R.O. 1/2012
Application of
other written
law to the State.
Regulations.
21. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, nothing
in this Act shall affect any rule of evidence or any statutory
provisions relating to the extent to which the State is bound
by any other written law.
22. The Minister may make regulations for carrying
into effect the purposes of this Act.
______________
Read Entire Law on legalaffairs.gov.gy