June 23, 2021

Guyana signs on to ratify Caricom Arrest Warrant Treaty

first_imgGuyana has ratified the Caricom (Caribbean Community) Arrest Warrant Treaty, paving the way for Member States to arrest and hand over criminals to authorities in other participating countries where the crime was committed.At the post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon explained that this move by Guyana, along with two other Member States, would allow for the ratification of the Treaty.“The Treaty requires three Member States to sign for its entry into force and Guyana, having received the approval of Cabinet, will be the signatory of that treaty to bring it into force,” he stated.The objective of the Caricom Arrest Warrant Treaty is to “…establish, within the Caribbean Community, a system of arrest and surrender of requested persons forMinister of State, Joseph Harmonthe purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution for an applicable offence; or executing a custodial sentence where the requested persons have fled from justice after being sentenced…”According to the Treaty document, it will enter into force 60 days after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification. Barbados and The Bahamas are said to be the other two countries to effect the ratification.During the 38th Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of State in July last year in Grenada, not all Member States, including Guyana, had formally signed onto the Treaty. The others were Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.At the conclusion of the regional meeting, then Caricom Chairman, Grenadian Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell was reported confirming that not all 15 Member States had signed onto the Treaty. He went on to explain that this was largely owing to internal issues regarding the laws within the respective Member States.These countries were allowed to make the necessary changes to conform to the requirements of the CARICOM Arrest Warrant Treaty.Member States have often recognised major issues in relation to security throughout the Region and this treaty was one of the instruments formulated to enhance cooperation in this area. This was in light of the difficulties experienced with the extradition process.The Treaty recognises that “… the current extradition framework among Member States is complex, costly and limited, and does not allow for a system of surrender of persons between judicial authorities of Member States; [and] recognising also that a system of surrender between the judicial authorities of Member States is desirable in the context of the integration objectives of the Caribbean Community for its economic and social development…”It is expected that the Treaty will remove the complexity, costs and potential for delay, while establishing a more efficient system of surrender among participating Member States.last_img

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