Posted by: lauraannwilson | January 29, 2015

21st Session of the Universal Periodic Review: Review of Guyana – Overview of key themes

Review of Guyana, Universal Periodic Review, 28 January 2015 – Key themes

Delegation of Guyana was led by Her Excellency Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett

Ms Rodrigues-Birkett noted in her opening statements that Guyana is taking steps to address discrimination and violence against women, indigenous people, and LGBTI people. Guyana is investing in the justice system, following recommendations made at the last UPR. Her Excellency highlighted that Guyana has increased the number of judges to 20. This has contributed to increased court efficiency, access to justice, and reduced court backlogs.

Several States, including The Netherlands, Mauritius and Mexico, noted with concern that women and LGBTI people continue to face discrimination and violence. These States encouraged Guyana to examine its laws, with the view of repealing any provisions which discriminate against women and LGTBI persons.

Several States, including the UK, Australia and Brazil, raised the issue of the death penalty. Ms Rodrigues-Birkett noted that Guyana had made progress on this issue. Her Excellency noted that amendments to the Criminal Law Offences Act removed the death penalty as a penalty for murder. However, the death penalty remains a punishment for some crimes, including murder of police.

Ms Rodrigues-Birkett noted that increased discussions in Guyana on the death penalty are a ‘good sign’. However, ‘the country is divided and it can be difficult speaking about the death penalty’.

Guyana continues its discussions on the death penalty.

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