Chapter 11:05 - Criminal Law Reform

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/484-chapter-1105-criminal-law-reform/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
CRIMINAL LAW REFORM ACT
CHAPTER 11:05
Act
12 of 1988
Current Authorised Pages
Pages
(inclusive)
Authorised
by L.R.O.
1 – 16 ... 1/2012
Amended by
6 of 1997
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Note
on
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.

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CHAPTER 11:05
CRIMINAL LAW REFORM ACT
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Suspended sentence of imprisonment.
4. Method of dealing with person on conviction of further offence during
operational period.
5. Procedure where court convicting of further offence does not deal with
suspended sentence.
6. Suspended sentence supervision order.
7. Breach of requirement of supervision order.
8. Before sentencing to imprisonment court to consider whether convicted
person to be dealt with otherwise.
9. Short sentences of imprisonment.
10. Exemption.
11. Power to make regulations.
--------------------------------- _______________________________________________________
12 of 1988 An Act to make provision for suspended sentences and for
certain other matters relating to sentences.
[1ST JANUARY 1989]
Short title.
Interpretation.
1. This Act may be cited as the Criminal Law Reform
Act.
2. In this Act —
“appropriate officer”, in relation to a court, means—
(a) in the case of the High Court or Court
of Appeal, the Registrar of the
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Suspended
sentence of
imprisonment.
Supreme Court; and
(b) in the case of a magistrate’s court, the
clerk of that court;
“court” does not include a court martial;
“operational period” means the period specified under
section 3(1) as the period during which, subject to the
provisions of that section, a sentence of imprisonment
shall not take effect;
“sentence of imprisonment” does not include a committal in
default of payment of any sum of money or for want
of sufficient distress to satisfy any sum of money, or
for failure to do or abstain from doing anything
required to be done or left undone;
“supervision order” means a suspended sentence supervision
order made under section 6(1);
“suspended sentence” means a sentence to which an order
under section 3(1 ) relates.
3. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this section,
and section 10, where any court passes on any person a
sentence of imprisonment for a term of not more than two
years for an offence, it may order that the sentence shall not
take effect unless, during a period specified in the order,
being not less than one year or more than two years from the
date of the order, such person commits in Guyana another
offence punishable with imprisonment and thereafter a court
having power to do so orders under section 4 that the original
sentence shall take effect with or without variation of its term.
(2) A court shall not, on passing a sentence of
imprisonment on any person for an offence, make an order
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under subsection (1) if it is proved that he has been
previously convicted of any offence for which a sentence of
imprisonment has been passed on him.
(3) A court shall, before it makes an order under
subsection (1) in respect of a person convicted by or before it,
ascertain whether that person has been previously convicted
of any offence for which a sentence of imprisonment has been
passed on him and for that purpose may, where it becomes
necessary, defer the passing of sentence on him.
(4) Where a written law does not prescribe a
mandatory sentence of imprisonment for an offence, a court
shall not deal with any person convicted of the offence by
means of a suspended sentence unless it appears to the court
that the case is one in which a sentence of imprisonment
would have been appropriate in the absence of any power to
suspend such a sentence by an order under subsection (1).
(5) Where a person is convicted by or before a
court upon two or more counts or two or more charges of
offences, tried jointly, and the court is of the view that the
sentence of imprisonment proposed to be imposed on the
person for any one or more of such counts or charges of
offences should not be suspended, the court shall not deal
with the person by means of a suspended sentence in respect
of the other or any of the other counts or charges of offences
so jointly tried.
(6) A court, passing a suspended sentence on any
person in respect of one offence, shall not make a probation
order in the same case in respect of another offence of which
he is convicted by or before the court or for which he is dealt
with by the court.
(7) A court shall, on passing a suspended sentence
on any person, explain to him in ordinary language his
liability under section 4 if during the operational period of
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Method of
dealing with
person on
conviction of
further offence
during
operational
period.

that sentence he commits an offence punishable with
imprisonment.
(8) Save as otherwise provided in subsection (9),
for the purposes of all written laws a suspended sentence
passed on any person, whether or not it has taken effect
under section 4(1), shall be treated as a sentence of
imprisonment passed on the date of the order of the
suspended sentence.
(9) A suspended sentence passed on any person
which has not taken effect under section 4(1) shall not be
treated as a sentence of imprisonment for the purposes of any
written law which provides for disqualification for, or loss of,
any office (not being an office created by the Constitution) or
forfeiture of pension, of any person sentenced to
imprisonment; and where it has been ordered under section 4
that the suspended sentence passed on any person shall take
effect, for the purposes of any such written law the person
shall be treated as having been convicted and sentenced to
imprisonment on the ordinary date on which the period
allowed for making an appeal against an order under that
section expires or, if such an appeal is made, the date on
which it is finally disposed of by confirming the order that the
suspended sentence shall take effect, whether with or without
variation, or it is abandoned or fails for prosecution.
4. (1) Where any person is convicted by or before a
court of an offence punishable with imprisonment committed
during the operational period of a suspended sentence, the
court shall, on proof that the conviction is for an offence
committed during the operational period of the suspended
sentence, deal with that person in respect of the suspended
sentence by one of the following methods, unless the
suspended sentence has already taken effect,—
(a) the court may order that the
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suspended sentence shall take effect
with the original term unaltered;
(b) the court may order that the
suspended sentence shall take effect
with the substitution of a lesser term
for the original term;
(c) the court may, by order, vary the
original order passing the suspended
sentence by substituting for the
operational period specified therein
an operational period expiring not
later than two years from the date of
the variation; or
(d) the court may order that no order
need be made under paragraph (a),
(b) or (c) with respect to the
suspended sentence:
Provided that a court acting under this subsection shall
make an order under paragraph (a) unless it is of the opinion
that it would be unjust to do so in view of all the
circumstances of the case, including the facts of the
subsequent offence; and where it is of that opinion, the court
shall having regard to all the circumstances of the case, and
for reasons to be recorded in writing, deal with the person by
one of the methods mentioned in paragraph (b), (c) or (d).
(2) Where a court orders that the suspended
sentence passed on any person shall take effect with or
without any variation of the original term, the court may
order that the sentence shall take effect immediately or that
the term thereof shall commence on the expiration of another
term of imprisonment passed on the person by that or another
court.

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Procedure
where court
convicting of
further offence
does not deal
with sus-
pended
sentence.

(3) For the purposes of this section and section 5, in
proceedings in the High Court for dealing with a person in
respect of a suspended sentence the question whether a
person has been convicted of an offence committed during
the operational period of a suspended sentence shall be
determined by the judge and not by the verdict of a jury.
(4) Where under this section a court deals with any
person on whom a suspended sentence was passed by
another court, the appropriate officer of the court first
mentioned shall notify the appropriate officer of the court
which passed the suspended sentence of the method adopted.
(5) For the purposes of any written law conferring
a right of appeal in criminal cases, an order made by a court
under subsection (1) (a), (b) or (c) shall be deemed to be an
order passing a sentence of imprisonment on the offender by
that court for the offence for which the suspended sentence
was passed.
5. (1) Where it appears to any court having
jurisdiction under subsection (2) that any person has been
convicted in Guyana of an offence punishable with
imprisonment committed during the operational period of a
suspended sentence and that he has not been dealt with by an
order under any paragraph of section 4 (1) by the court by or
before which he was so convicted, in respect of the suspended
sentence, the court first mentioned may issue a summons
requiring the person to appear at the place and time specified
therein, or may, if the information is in writing and on oath,
issue a warrant for his arrest.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) the court
having jurisdiction shall be—
(a) where the court convicting him of the
offence referred to in subsection (1) is
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Suspended
sentence
supervision
order.

the High Court, that court; or
(b) in any other case, any magistrate’s
court.
(3) A summons or warrant issued under
subsection (1) shall direct the person to whom or in respect of
whom it is issued to appear or to be brought before the court
by or before which he was convicted of the offence referred to
in subsection (1) and, upon such person appearing or being
brought before the court, the court shall proceed to deal with
him under section 4.
6. (1) Where a court passes on any person a
suspended sentence, the court may make a suspended
sentence supervision order placing the person under the
supervision of a supervising officer for such period, not
exceeding the operational period of the suspended sentence,
as may be specified in the order.
(2) A supervision order, in relation to any person,
shall specify the magisterial district in which he resides or
will reside and the supervising officer referred to in
subsection (1) shall be the probation officer appointed for or
assigned to the magisterial district so specified for the time
being in the supervision order.
(3) One copy of a supervision order made under
subsection (1) shall be sent by the appropriate officer of the
court making the order to each of the following—
(a) if the court making the order is not
the magistrate’s court having
jurisdiction over the magisterial
district specified under subsection (2),
the appropriate officer of the said
magistrate’s court together with such
documents and information relating
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to the case as the court first
mentioned considers likely to be of
assistance to the aforesaid
magistrate’s court in exercising its
functions in relation to the order; and
(b) the supervising officer.
(4) A person in respect of whom a supervision
order is in force shall keep in touch with the supervising
officer in accordance with such instructions as may from time
to time be given to him by that officer and shall notify that
officer of any change of his address.
(5) Where a magistrate’s court, having jurisdiction
over the magisterial district for the time being specified in the
supervision order is satisfied that the aforesaid person
proposes to change, or has changed, his residence from that
district to another magisterial district, that court may, and on
the application of the supervising officer shall, amend the
supervision order by substituting the other magisterial
district for the magisterial district specified in that order.
(6) Where a supervision order is amended by a
magistrate’s court under subsection (5), the appropriate
officer of that court shall send a copy of the amended order
to—
(a) the appropriate officer of the
magistrate’s court having jurisdiction
for the magisterial district specified in
the amended order, together with such
documents and information relating to
the case as the court first mentioned
considers likely to be of assistance to the
court second mentioned in exercising its
functions in relation to the order;
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(b) where the supervision order was
made by the High Court, the Registrar
of the Supreme Court: and
(c) the new supervising officer and the
immediately previous supervising
officer.
(7) A supervision order shall cease to have effect if
before the end of the period specified in it—
(a) a court orders under section 4 that the
suspended sentence passed in the
proceedings in which the supervision
order was made shall take effect
whether with or without variation; or
(b) the order is discharged or replaced
under subsection (8) or (9).
(8) A supervision order may be discharged on the
application of the supervising officer or the person in relation
to whom it was made—
(a) if it was made by the High Court and
includes a direction reserving the
power of discharging it to that court,
by the High Court; or
(b) in any other case, by a magistrate’s
court having jurisdiction over the
magisterial district for the time being
specified in the supervision order as
the area of residence of the said
person.
(9) Where under section 4 of this Act a court deals
with a person in respect of a suspended sentence by varying
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Breach of
requirement of
supervision
order.
[6 of 1997]
the operational period of that sentence or by ordering that no
order need be made under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c) of that
section, the court may—
(a) if a supervision order has been made
in respect of that person with
reference to that suspended sentence,
replace it by another supervision
order for such period, not exceeding
the operational period of the
suspended sentence as so varied, as
may be specified in the new
supervision order; or
(b) if the court which passed the
suspended sentence could have made
a supervision order but did not do so,
make a supervision order in respect of
the person.
(10) A court shall, on making a supervision order,
explain to the person, in relation to whom it is made, its effect
in ordinary language.
7. (1) If at any time while a supervision order is in
force in respect of a person it appears on information to a
magistrate’s court, having jurisdiction over the magisterial
district for the time being specified in the order as the area of
that person’s residence, that the person has failed to comply
with any of the requirements of section 6 (4), the magistrate
may issue a summons requiring that person to appear at the
place and time specified therein, or may, if the information is
in writing and on oath, issue a warrant for his arrest.
(2) Any summons or warrant issued under this
section shall direct the person to whom or in respect of whom
it is issued to appear or to be brought before a magistrate’s
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Before
sentencing to
imprisonment
court to
consider
whether
convicted
person to be
dealt with
otherwise.
c. 11:02
c. 11:04
Short sentences
of
imprisonment.
court for the magisterial district for the time being specified in
the supervision order as the area of his residence.
(3) If it is proved to the satisfaction of a
magistrate’s court before which the person appears or is
brought under this section that he has failed without
reasonable cause to comply with any of the requirements of
section 6 (4), that court may, without prejudice to the
continuance of the supervision order, impose on him a fine of
three thousand dollars.
8. Where a person is convicted by or before a court for
an offence for which a written law empowers the passing of a
sentence of imprisonment, but the court is also empowered to
deal with him under the preceding provisions of this Act or
under the Extra-Mural Work Act, or the Probation of
Offenders Act, the court shall, before sentencing him to any
period of imprisonment, consider whether he may suitably be
dealt with under any of the provisions aforesaid.
9. (1) Where a court passes on any person convicted of
an offence—
(a) a sentence of imprisonment for a
period not exceeding three months;
(b) a sentence of imprisonment and fine,
and the aggregate of the period of
such imprisonment and the period of
imprisonment he is ordered to
undergo consequent on failure to pay
the fine does not exceed three months;
or
(c) a sentence of fine, and the period of
imprisonment he is ordered to
undergo consequent on failure to pay
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the fine does not exceed three months,
and the court is satisfied—
(i) on an application made before
it by or on behalf of such
person, of the existence of the
conditions set out in subsection
(2); and
(ii) on a report from the Director of
Prisons that satisfactory
arrangements exist for the
sentence to be served in the
manner applied for,
the court may order that the sentence be served at stated
periods.
(2) The conditions required for the purpose of
subsection (1) shall be that—
(a) the convicted person was in
employment at the time of the
commission of the offence or that he is
in employment at the time of
conviction;
(b) the convicted person would continue
to be in such employment but for
such conviction and the obligation to
serve the sentence of imprisonment;
(c) the discontinuance from such
employment would cause hardship to
his dependants; and
(d) the convicted person consents to serve
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Exemption.
the sentence of imprisonment in the
manner ordered by the court.
(3) Where an order is made under subsection (1),
the court shall cause a copy of such order to be served on the
officer in charge of the police station for the area in which the
convicted person resides or will reside.
(4) A period stated under subsection (1) or varied
under subsection (6) shall be at the discretion of the court but
shall not be less than twenty-four hours of continuous
duration for any one week.
(5) Where any person, in respect of whom an order
has been made under subsection (1), fails to serve any stated
period of his sentence, the Director of Prisons shall report the
matter to the court which made the order and thereupon the
court may, after hearing the said person, revoke the order for
serving the sentence of imprisonment at stated periods and
substitute therefor an order for serving continuously the
unserved portion of the sentence originally passed.
(6) The court, which made an order referred to in
subsection (1), may, on application made by a convicted
person, vary, subject to subsection (4), the commencement or
duration of a stated period, in respect of the serving of a
sentence of imprisonment.
10. (1) The preceding provisions of this Act shall not
apply in the case of persons who are convicted by or before a
court of any offence for which a written law prescribes a
mandatory sentence of imprisonment.
(2) For the purposes of this section, a written law
shall not be deemed to prescribe a sentence of imprisonment
which is not mandatory only by reason that—
(a) the written law empowers the court to
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c. 8:01

Power to make
regulations.
impose any other penalty, instead of
the sentence of imprisonment, if there
are special reasons;
(b) section 19 of the Criminal Law
(Offences) Act or any other written
law empowers the court to substitute
any other punishment for the
sentence of imprisonment; or
(c) power is vested in any authority to
remit the sentence of imprisonment,
to substitute another form of
punishment for the sentence of
imprisonment, or to accept
compensation in substitution for
proceedings in a court.
11. The Minister may make regulations to carry out
the purposes of this Act.
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