Guyana Law and Legal Research
By Errol A. Adams
Errol A. Adams received his primary and secondary education in Guyana. He has a B.A. in Judicial Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice – a senior college of The City University of New York; a J.D. from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and a M.L.S. from St. John’s University. He is the Reference and Scholarly Services Librarian at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.
Published May/June 2020
Table of Contents
- 1. Introduction to Guyana’s Law and Legal Research
- 2. Government Structure
- 3. Parliament: Structure & Legal Documents
- 4. Constitution
- 5. Historical Legal Documents
- 6. Select Primary & Secondary Sources
- 7. Select Bibliographic Sources by Subject
- 8. General News & Country Related Sources
- 9. Select Sources of Current Major Legal Topics
- 9.1. General Elections
- 9.2. Legal Education & Legal Profession
- 9.3. Territorial Disputes
- 9.4. The Jonestown Tragedy
- 9.5. Oil Exploration – Energy Oil/Gas Law
- 9.6. Environmental Law
- 9.7. Intellectual Property Law
- 9.8. Labor law & Industrial Relations
- 10. Additional Legal Information
This article outlines the various resources available for researching the laws and legal system of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (Guyana). Please note that there are variations in the spelling of certain words as they are citations taken from sources that reference the word with its English spelling. According to JuriGlobe, Guyana follows a mixed legal system - a combination of Civil Law & Common Law.See JuriGlobe - World Legal Systems, University of Ottawa. As an introduction, here are key research websites for locating Guyana’s legal related information:
- Department of Public Information
- Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana
- Parliament of Guyana
- Ministry of the Presidency
- Ministry of Legal Affairs
- Guyana News and Information
Guyana was a Dutch colony in the 17th century, but became a British colony in 1815. The abolition of slavery led to settlement of urban areas by ‘former slaves’ and the importation of indentured servants from India to work the sugar plantations. The resulting ethnocultural divide has persisted and has led to turbulent politics. Guyana achieved its independence from the United Kingdom on May 26, 1966. On February 23, 1970, Guyana declared itself a "cooperative republic" and cut all ties to the British monarchy. The head of state became the president, which replaced the governor general.
Guyana is a member of the Caribbean community, both culturally and via trade agreements, even though it is located in northern South America. It borders the North Atlantic Ocean, between Suriname and Venezuela. It is the third-smallest country in South America after Suriname and Uruguay; Venezuela and Suriname have laid claim to substantial portions of its western and eastern territories; and it contains some of the largest unspoiled rainforests on the continent.
- History of Parliament - 1718-2006
- The Guyana Story - Chronological history
- Timeline: Guyana -BBC News
- Country Profile: Guyana - BBC News
- Country Study: Guyana & Belize: Chapters 1-5 - Guyana; Library of Congress World Factbook: South America (Guyana) - CIA (U.S.)
- Country Profile: Guyana, Travel Advice: Guyana - Foreign & Commonwealth Office (U.K.)
- Guyana - UN data country profile statistics
- Summary - Country profile from the Commonwealth Local Forum
- World Bank Report - Guyana 2020
- The Caribbean Development Portal - Guyana, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
Guyana is governed by three separate, but complementary, branches of government: the Legislature (National Assembly), the Executive (President, Cabinet and Government Departments) and the Judiciary (Courts). The power to run the country is divided among the three branches to create a system of checks and balances.
The Executive branch governs Guyana. The President is the Head of State, the supreme executive authority and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Guyana. The President appoints the Prime Minister and other Ministers and assigns responsibilities to them. The Cabinet consists of the President, the Prime Minister and other Ministers appointed to it by the President. It aids and advises the President in the general direction and control of the Government. See the Ministry of the Presidency for more information.
The President is not a member of the National Assembly but has the power to attend and address the Assembly at any time. The President has to assent to bills passed by the National Assembly before the bills become law. The President of Guyana is the head of the executive branch, which exercises legislative power alongside the legislative branch, headed by the unicameral National Assembly (65 seats; 40 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency and 25 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies - all by closed list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms).
The Judiciary vests its authority in the courts. The courts determine and interpret the law. The courts are independent and impartial and subject only to the Constitution and the law. The Chancellor of the Judiciary is the chief representative of the judicial authority. The court structure consists of magistrate courts for civil claims of small monetary value and minor offenses; the Supreme Court that encompasses the High Court, with original and appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters; the Full Court; and the Court of Appeal, with appellate authority in criminal cases.
Privy Council: The Privy Council is the final court of appeal for several Commonwealth countries, including Guyana (but only up until 2005), the crown dependencies and United Kingdom overseas territories.
Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ): The CCJ is the Caribbean regional judicial tribunal established on February 14, 2001 by the Agreement Establishing the CCJ. The agreement was signed on that date by the CARICOM states including Guyana. The agreement establishing the CCJ came into force on July 23, 2003, and the CCJ was inaugurated on April 16, 2005 in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Seat of the Court.
The Supreme Courthas two divisions; the Court of Appeal and the High Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature (High Court). In 2005, Guyana adopted the CCJ as its final court of appeal, replacing the Privy Council. The Court of Appeal (established July 30, 1966), consists of a chancellor, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and as many justices as the National Assembly may prescribe. The chancellor of the Court of Appeal is the country's chief judicial officer.
- Court of Appeal Judges (List)
The High Court is the third-highest court in the country, above the Magistrates’ courts. The High Court consists of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, 10 puisne justices and has both original and appellate jurisdiction. There is provision in the law, for twelve judges of the High Court, however, the overall responsibility lies with the chief justice. There is one High Court but judges hear cases in each county.  Most proceedings in the High Court are held before a single judge and who are assigned to both criminal and civil cases.
The High Court hears claims exceeding $50,000.  This Court is also tasked with handling family law related matters including custody and adoption of children, divorce, injunctions; applications for probate and letters of administration as well as the passing of transports to land and mortgages, via a Land Court that is presided over by the Commissioner of Title.  Appeals from the Magistrates Court and the High Court are heard before the Full Court. The Full Court is presided over by no less than two judges (High Court Judges).  Appeals of Full Court & High Court rulings are heard by the Court of Appeal.
The Magistrates’ Courts are the largest in number. Small criminal and civil matters are heard before them, e.g. cases of minor assault, petty theft, abusive language, landlord and tenant claims and claims for debts under $50,000.00. There are magistrates’ courts in every county and most of the cases brought by the police and individuals are heard in them. There are nine magisterial districts in Guyana. Under Guyana’s Magistrates’ Act, magistrates may exercise jurisdiction in the area of Guyana that they are appointed. The jurisdiction of Magistrates extends to presiding over specialized courts, which are:
- Family Court
- Commercial Court
- Coroners Court
- Juvenile Court
- Traffic Court
- Tax Court
- Drug Court
Under Article 51 of the Constitution of Guyana, Parliament consists of the President and the National Assembly. The National Assembly has 65 members elected using the system of proportional representation. The National Assembly of Parliament has the power to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Guyana in accordance with its Constitution.
- National Assembly of the Parliament of Guyana
- The Parliament Channel - Streaming video
- Glossary of Parliamentary Procedures
- History of Parliament
The Office of Parliament provides online access to bills, acts, laws, proceedings and other publications.
- Bills: Full-text database of recent bills that may be browsed by session or alphabetically by name. It also includes information on the members of parliament involved in debating the bills.
- Acts of Parliament: Full-text database containing Acts of Parliament from 2004 to present hosted by the official website for the Parliament of the government of Guyana.
- Laws of Guyana: Official compilation
- The Office of the Parliament provides online access to information regarding what occurred during sittings of the National Assembly; 2015 - 2019.
- Hansard Reports - Full-text database, containing transcribed the official report (Verbatim) of the Assembly including Parliamentary debates; 2015 - 2019
- Standing Orders – digital access provided by the Office of Parliament
- Standing Committees - digital access provided by the Office of Parliament
The Constitution is the supreme law of Guyana. It outlines the branches and powers of government, establishes qualifications and times for elections, lists basic human rights and sets up independent institutions to protect those rights.
In 1970, amendments were made to the Constitution proclaiming Guyana a Co-operative Republic and the British Monarch was replaced by a President as the head of state, elected for a fixed term. The 1980 Constitution identified the President as the Head of State and the Supreme Executive Authority and it also established a system of local democratic organs.
There have been 12 amendments to the 1980 Constitution, five of which were temporary in nature, to facilitate the 1992 national elections.
- 1953, Suspension of the Constitution
- 1954, British Guiana Constitutional Convention Report
- 1960, British Guiana Constitutional Conference Report
- 1962, British Guiana Constitution Conference
- 1962, Report of British Guiana Independence Conf. #1, Reconvened
- 1965, British Guiana Independence Conference
- 1966, British Guiana Independence Order
On December 1, 1994, the National Assembly passed a resolution which established the Special Select Committee to review the Constitution and directed it to present a proposal for its reform before the 1997 general and regional elections. The Select Committee first met in May 1996. Fifty public meetings across the 10 regions were convened by the Committee to solicit public participation in the reform process. Many written and oral submissions for constitutional reform were received from all sectors of society. The dissolution of Parliament on October 29, 1997 precluded the Special Select Committee from finishing its work.
An act of parliament established the Constitutional Reform Commission (Commission) in 1999. It successfully completed its tasks and submitted its report to the National Assembly by the due date of July 17, 1999. The Commission made 171 recommendations for constitutional amendments. All amendments, except for those requiring a referendum, were passed as Acts of Parliament.
- British Guiana Compiled Laws Vols. 1-5, 1895
- British Guiana Compiled Laws Vols. 1-6, 1923
- British Guiana Subsidiary Legislation, 1921-1965
- British Guiana Compiled Laws Vols. 1-6, 1930
- British Guiana Compiled Laws Vols. 1-11, 1953
- Guyana’s legislation from 1831-2016
- Guyana, Treaties (by date) - 1954, 1964, 1966-67 & 1977 (US/UK)
- International Crime and Drug Control Treaties UNODC
- Human Rights Treaties
- List of Treaties by Country: Guyana - EUROPA Treaty Office Database
- Royal Gazette of British Guiana [microfilm]: (most years 1804-1883) call# LAC 079.881 R88 University of Florida Latin American Collection (Gainesville, FL
- CRL Foreign Official Gazette Database: Official gazette of Guyana (May 28, 1966 - )
- Belmonte's Digest - Dec. 1907
- British Guiana Law Reports/Law Reports of British Guiana -1855-1865 (Print); 1890-1897 (LLMC) & 1890-1896 (Hathi Trust); -1917
- Digest of case law: containing decisions in the Supreme Court of British Guiana for and including the years 1910 to 1920
- Guyana Law Reports/Law Reports of Guyana - 1966 1969; 1971-1974; 2011-
- Rules of Court (British Guiana- Extract from the Gazette) - 1894-1961
- Digitized editions of Commons and Lords Hansard, the Official Report of debates in Parliament -1803-2005
- Declassified Documents on British Guiana 1961-1963 - This report addresses the U.S. policy towards the then British colony of British Guiana.
Please note that this isn’t a comprehensive list.
- Reported Cases: The West Indian Reports; 1958- (Lexis UK
- Unreported Cases
- The Official Gazette of Guyana; 2013-Present
- See Section 1.1. of this article (above) for additional information about historical gazettes (please note that prior years are in the Section 5)
- Guyana Law Journal; (1977-2020 – Australia libraries) and for years 1977-1979 available via Google
- Guyana Law Review -Vols 1-4, 2000-2002
- Bar Association Review (BAR); 2017-2018
- The Caribbean Law Review; 1991 -
- West Indian Law Journal formerly known as the Jamaican Law Journal; 1970-2013
- The Commonwealth Law Journal/Bulletin 1974-
- High Court Library – Provides access to members of the Judiciary and Guyana Bar
- The Attorney General’s Law Library (provides access to members of the Guyana Bar)
- Parliamentary Library - provides access to members of Parliament
- University of Guyana Library (UG Library) provides access to law students, legal scholars, members of the Guyana Bar.
- Bertrand Ramcharan. The Guyana Court of Appeal, 2002
- Shahabuddeen, M. The Legal System of Guyana. With a Foreword by Shridath S. Ramphal. Georgetown, Guyana: The Author, 1973.
- Duke E. Pollard, The Caribbean Court of Justice: Closing the Circle of Independence 258-355 (2004)
- M. Raymond Izarali, Crime, Violence and Security in the Caribbean, 2017
- Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Commonwealth Caribbean law and legal systems 2008
History and Legal History of Guyana
- Tim Merrill, ed. Guyana: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1992.
- Vere T Daly, The making of Guyana, 1974
- CIA and State Department, Guyana Country Studies: A brief, comprehensive study of Guyana. 2012
- Steve Connolly, Journey Back to Watooka: A Story of Guyana Kindle Edition 2018
- Craig Sylvester, Bringing Guyana into the 21st Century 2017
- Ramesh Gampat, Guyana: from Slavery to the Present: Vol. 2 Major Diseases; Vol 2 Health System
- Colin Bobb Semple, English Common Law, African Enslavement, and Human Rights, 2012.
- Researching South American Company Information 16 Bus. Info. Alert 1, 12 (2004) Bartlett, T. (2005).
- Jackman, Mahalia, They Called it the ‘Abominable Crime’: An Analysis of Heterosexual Support for Anti-Gay Laws in Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago (April 24, 2016). Sex Res Soc Policy, Vol. 13:130–141, 2016.
- Quincy McEwan, Seon Clarke, Joseph Fraser, Seyon Persaud and the Society against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) v., The Attorney General of Guyana See,  CCJ 30(AJ) , where the CCJ concluded that the vaguely-worded law against cross dressing was unconstitutional and violated transgender citizens’ right to equality and non-discrimination.
- Handbook on the Sexual Offences Act -This booklet is a guide to better understanding the 2010 Sexual Offence Act as amended by the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2013 (the SOA). It covers the various sexual offences, police investigation, court proceedings including evidence and sentencing, and sexual violence prevention.
- Gender Based Violence, Guyana (United Nations)
- Christo, Edmund Denzil, An Analysis of the Legislation Concerning the Medical Termination of Pregnancy in Barbados, Guyana and the United Kingdom with the Intention of Discovering the Best Way Forward in Legislating on the Issue in other Commonwealth Caribbean Jurisdictions that Have Not Effected Change (March 28, 2008).
- Nunes, Fred, Legal but Inaccessible: Abortion in Guyana. Social and Economic Studies, Vol. 61, No. 3, September 2012, Special Issue on Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights in Select Caribbean Countries, (Guest Editors: Taitu Heron and Shakira Maxwell).
- Stephenson, J. and Persadie, N. (2019), "Anti-discrimination legislation in the Caribbean: is everyone protected?” Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 38 No. 7, pp. 779-792.
- Heron, Taitu and Maxwell, Shakira, Women's Reproductive Health and Rights in Select Caribbean Countries (September 20, 2012). SES, Vol. 61, No. 3, September 2012.
- Amerindian development in Guyana: legal documents as background to discourse practice. Discourse & Society, 16(3), 341–364.
- James S. Phillips (2015) The Rights of Indigenous Peoples Under International Law, Global Bioethics, 26:2, 120-127.
International Law Related
- Palitha T. B. Kohona, Reservations: Discussion of Recent Developments in the Practice of the Secretary-General of the United Nations as Depositary of Multilateral Treaties, 33 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 415 (2005).
- Jamela A. Ali, A Note on Trademark Reform, Bar Association Review, May 2019.
- Brathwaite, J. (2003). Commonwealth Caribbean Legal Materials: A Select Subject Bibliography. International Journal of Legal Information, 31(1), 67-108.
- Grossman, Andrew (2002). Towards Cooperation in Access to Foreign Primary Law. International Journal of Legal Information, 30(1), 1-52.
- Rhea P. Hamilton, A Guide to Researching the Caribbean Court of Justice, 27 Brook. J. Int'l L. (2002).
- Sylvia G. Moss, The University of the West Indies Faculty of Law Library: An Overview, 1 Commw. L. Libr. 23 (1992).
- Perlingeiro, Ricardo, Information Access Laws in the World: Compilation of National Laws, Legislative Bills and Model Codes on the Right of Access to the Official Information (September 1, 2014). Niterói: Eduff, 2014. 2.414p
- David Simmons, The Caribbean Court of Justice: A Unique Institution of Caribbean Creativity, 29 Nova L. Rev. 171, 200 (2005)
- Newton, Velma (1979). An Historical Perspective of Law Reporting in the English-Speaking Caribbean: A Case for Regional Law Reporting. International Journal of Law Libraries, 7 (1), 1-21.
- Oto-Peralías, Daniel, and Diego Romero-Ávila. “The Distribution of Legal Traditions around the World: A Contribution to the Legal-Origins Theory.” The Journal of Law & Economics, vol. 57, no. 3, 2014, pp. 561–628.
- Royce, M. (2016). A Study of Mixed Legal Systems: Endangered, Entrenched or Blended, edited by Sue Farran, Esin Örücü and Seán Patrick Donlan [Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, Surrey and Burlington, VT, 2014,)]. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 65(2), 518-519.
- Kensie Kim, Mixed Systems in Legal Origins Analysis, 83 S. Cal. L. Rev. 693 (2010).]
- Garoupa, Nuno and Gómez Ligüerre, Carlos, The Efficiency of the Common Law: The Puzzle of Mixed Legal Families (July 25, 2011). Wisconsin International Law Journal, 2012; Illinois Program in Law, Behavior and Social Science Paper No. LBSS11-31.
- Cross, Jane E. Ellen, South and Central America: British, Dutch and French Colonial Laws (April 30, 2008). Encyclopedia of Legal History, Oxford University Press, 2008; NSU Shepard Broad Law Center Research Paper No. 09-005.
- Simeon C. R. McIntosh, West Indian Constitutional Theory: An Essay, 32 Howard L.J. 735 (1989).
- Tzeng, Peter, Jurisdiction and Applicable Law under UNCLOS,Comment, Yale Law Journal, Vol. 126, No. 1, pp. 242-260 (2016).
Law of Politics & Political Commentary
- Bissessar A.M. (2017) Race and Politics in Guyana. In: Ethnic Conflict in Developing Societies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
- Albert K. Fiadjoe, An Overview of the Public Revolution in the Commonwealth Caribbean, 21 Anglo-Am. L. Rev. 310 (1992). HeinOnline
- Santa-Cruz, Arturo. (2009). Contested Compliance in a Liberal Normative Structure: The Western Hemisphere Idea and the Monitoring of the Mexican Elections.
- Vasciannie, Lisa. (2018). Electoral Politics in Guyana. 10.1007/978-3-319-59069-1_5. Chapter,
- Vasciannie L.A. (2018) Election Observation in Guyana: A Case Study of the Commonwealth Caribbean. In: International Election Observation in the Commonwealth Caribbean. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham - International Election Observation in the Commonwealth Caribbean pp 155-196
- Merissa Johnson, To Determine the Extent to which the Law on Suicide in Guyana Should be Revamped (2018)
- Paulette Henry, An Examination of Murder and Suicide in Guyana, Issues in Social Science Vol. 4 No. 1 (2016)
- Stabroek News - Subscription
- Guyana Chronicle
- Guyana Times- ePaper
- Kaiteur News -ePaper
- Demerara Waves
- Guyana/British Guiana Newspapers/The Daily Chronicle 1900-1999 (Library of Congress)
- Safe TV - Channel 2 via Facebook
- YVG Channel 28 via Facebook
- MTV Channel 65 via Facebook
- Broadcasters List
- Navigating Guyana’s Muddy Waters Commentary by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a private, tax-exempt institution focusing on international public policy issues (offers background about general election law)
- 2015 General and Regional Elections in Guyana (Report by the Carter Center) (offers background about general election law)
- Guyana Elections Commission (Government Agency)
- No-Confidence in the Government of Guyana - A motion of No-Confidence in the Government of Guyana submitted by Mr. Moses Nagamootoo, M.P. (2014 non-confidence motion)
- CCJ affirms Guyana’s no confidence motion (2018 non-confidence motion) leading to CCJ Decisions on the 2018 Non-Confidence Motion:
- Christopher Ram et.al. v The AG of Guyana et.al.  CCJ 10 (AJ)
- Zulfikar Mustapha v The AG of Guyana and the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission  CCJ 9 (AJ)
- Zulfikar Mustapha v The AG of Guyana and the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission  CCJ 14 (AJ)
- University of Guyana - Bachelors of Laws (LLB) (Guyana specific)
- JOF Haynes Law School of the Americas (JHLSA) [Proposed] (Guyana specific)
- Hugh Wooding Law School and Hugh Wooding Law School Library (Caribbean)
- University of the West Indies, (UWI) Faculty of Law, Cave Hill Campus (Caribbean)
- UWI at Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago - Faculty of Law (Caribbean)
- Norman Manley Law School (Caribbean)
- Council of Legal Education (Caribbean)
The Dispute between Guyana and Venezuela over the Essequibo Region is a territorial dispute in which Venezuela claims 5/8 of Guyana in the western part of the country. The dispute arose when Venezuela backed out of a 1899 treaty that settled the borders of the two countries.
- Historical Documents/Arbitration Agreements - Intlaw, 1896, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Br. Docs. & Correspondence-B; Intlaw, 1896, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Br. Docs. & Correspondence-E; Intlaw, 1896, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Docs. & Maps, Intro. by Strickland; Intlaw, 1896, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb.,The Venezuelan Question, Scruggs; Intlaw, 1897, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., The Arbitration Treaty; Intlaw, 1898, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Br. Counter-case; Intlaw, 1898, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Br. Counter-case, HMSO 1899 repr.; Intlaw, 1898, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Ven. Counter-case; Intlaw, 1898, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Ven. Counter-case, HMSO 1899 repr; Intlaw, 1898, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Ven. Printed Arg., HMSO 1899 repr.; Intlaw, 1898, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Venezuela Case, original edition, 4v; Intlaw, 1898, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Venezuelan Brief, Scruggs; Intlaw, 1899, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Tribunal Award; Intlaw, 1903, Venezuela/B.G., Border Arb., Drago text on Argentina view) Avaiala on LLC Digital – A subscription based database. [Available via LLMC, a subscription database]
- UN, Border Controversy Between Guyana And Venezuela, Personal Representative On The Border Controversy Between Guyana And The Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela, 2017.
- Arbitral Award of 3 October 1899 (Guyana v. Venezuela) [ICJ]
- CommentaryDr. Oden Ishmael, A Documentary History of the Guyana-Venezuela Border Issue, Trail of Diplomacy, January 2013.
- Ronald Ramdayal & Odeen Ishmael, The British Guiana-Venezuela Border Dispute, Reports From The New-York Times (1887-1904), 2010.
This case involved a dispute about the ocean boundaries between Guyana and Suriname, resulting in the case of Guyana v. Suriname, which was eventually settled (the court determined that as regards the delimitation of the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone pursuant to Articles 74 and 83 of UNCLOS, there were no relevant circumstances requiring adjustment to the provisional equidistant line. Concerning the incidents in the disputed area, the Tribunal ruled that the Surinamese naval actions constituted a threat of use of force, contrary to international law, but denied Guyana’s request for monetary compensation. The Tribunal also found both parties to be in breach of their obligations under Articles 74(3) and 83(3) of UNCLOS, to make provisional arrangements of a practical nature pending delimitation).
Select Commentary on the Dispute:
- Bulkan, Janette, Rentier States in Guyana and Suriname and the Consequent Lack of a Social Contract (2016). Archaeology and Anthropology, 20(1), 2–18.
- Roughton, Dominic, Rights (and Wrongs) of Capture: International Law and the Implications of the Guyana/Suriname Arbitration. Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, (2015).
- Kwast, Patricia Jimenez, Maritime Law Enforcement and the Use of Force: Reflections on the Categorisation of Forcible Action at Sea in the Light of the Guyana/Suriname Award (Spring 2008). Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 13, Issue 1, pp. 49-91, 2008.
- Thomas W. Donovan, Suriname-Guyana Maritime and Territorial Disputes: A Legal and Historical Analysis, 13 J. Transnat'l L. & Pol'y 41 (2003).
The “Jonestown Massacre” occurred on November 18, 1978, when more than 900 members of an American cult called the Peoples Temple died in a mass suicide-murder under the direction of their leader Jim Jones (1931-78). It took place at the so-called Jonestown settlement in the South American nation of Guyana.
- FBI, The Leo Ryan Murder/Jonestown Investigation, FBI Records: The Vault.
- Lesley Kennedy, Inside Jonestown How Jim Jones Trapped Followers and Forced 'Suicides' History, Feb. 20, 2020.
- History.com Editors, Mass suicide at Jonestown, Nov. 18, 1978. History, Feb. 9, 2010.
- Neal Osherow, Making Sense of the Nonsensical: An Analysis of Jonestown, Mar. 29, 2017.
- Darcy Schild, Decades after more than 900 cult members died in Jonestown, the jungle village is completely abandoned. Take a look inside, Nov. 5, 2019.
- The New Daily, November 18, 1978: Jonestown massacre claims more than 900 lives, Nov. 18, 2019.
The Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act 1986 is applicable to the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of petroleum existing in its natural condition in land in Guyana, including the territorial sea, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Guyana.
Applicable Treaties include:
- The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (“MARPOL”) (not r7atified).
- Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-Operation (“OPRC”)
- International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (“CLC”). 1969 convention ratified. 1992 protocol not yet ratified.
- The Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (“LLMC’) Accessioned with Reservations
Affiliated Oil/Gas Companies – After the 2015 oil discovery:
- Guyana (Exxon Mobil)
- Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd.
- Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd
- CNOOC International
- Guyana Petroleum Resources Governance and Management Project (The World Bank) The objective of the Project is to support the enhancement of legal and institutional frameworks and the strengthening of the capacity of key institutions to manage the oil and gas sector in Guyana. This website provides access to many important documents as pertains to Guyana’s oil discovery and business dealings.
- Clifford Krause, With a Major Oil Discovery, Guyana is Poised to Become a Top Producer, New York Times, Jan. 13 2017.
- Jamela A. Ali, Trademark Reform and Guyana Oil, Guyana Bar Association Review, May, 2019.
- Environmental Protection Act Chapter 20:05 (1996) of the laws of Guyana established the EPA. Section 3. (1).
- Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC): The GFC is responsible for advising the subject Minister on issues relating to forest policy, forestry laws and regulations. The Commission is also responsible for the administration and management of all State Forest land. A national forest plan developed to address forest policy, guides the work of the Commission.
- ECOLEX: This database includes information on treaties, international soft-law and other non-binding policy and technical guidance documents, national legislation, judicial decisions, and law and policy literature. Users have direct access to the abstracts and indexing information about each document, as well as to the full text of most of the information provided.
- FAOLEX: This is a database of national legislation, policies and bilateral agreements on food, agriculture and natural resources management. This database specifically provides information on policies & legislation in areas of agricultural and rural development; cultivated plants; the environment; fisheries; food & nutrition; forestry; land & soil, livestock; sea; water; wild species & ecosystems & relevant international agreements.
- Lakhan V. C, Trenhaile, A. S, & LaValle, P. D. Environmental Protection Efforts in a Developing Country: The Case of Guyana (2000). Electronic Green Journal, 1(13).
The Commercial Registry via the Deeds and Commercial Registry Authority ensures an adequate system for the administration of the laws enacted by Parliament relating to companies, business names, partnerships, bills of sale, trade unions, trademarks, patents, geographical indicator and copyright.
Deeds & Commercial Registry Act efficiently and expeditiously administer the laws enacted by Parliament affecting land, whether by way of transport, land registration, leases, mortgages or any other alienation thereof; as well as those laws relating to trademarks, patents, copyrights, trade unions, companies, partnership, business names, powers of attorney, contracts and other deeds.
Guyana’s applicable law in the trademark and patent area is the Trademark Act (Cap. 90:01) of 197. Trademarks can be registered in Part A of the Guyana TM Register in respect of goods in Classes 1 to 34. In addition, for services in Classes 35-45 in Part C only if they are registered in the United Kingdom and a certificate issued by the United Kingdom Patent.
WIPO, (World Intellectual Property Organization), Guyana, maintains information inclusive of participating treaties etc. on it member states WIPO, Guyana,
Kaiteur News Editor, Government mulls establishment of Industrial Court – Several labor laws to be amended Kaiteur News, Dec. 7, 2018. – This article highlights major issues that require a change in Guyana’s labor laws. The laws include the Labour Act, Leave with Pay Act, Termination of Employment and Severance Pay Act (TESPA), Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act, Co-operative Societies Act, Friendly Societies Act, and The School Thrift Chapter 36:04. Minister Scott said the Labour Act, Chapter 98:01 is the most important piece of legislation that was first enacted in 1942.
Guyana’s ILO profile page provides more information on its labor laws and policies. It also sets labor standards, develop policies and devise programs promoting decent work for all women and men.
NATLEX: This database maintains an organized listing of labor laws, social security and related human rights legislation of different countriesincluding Guyana.
NORMLEX is a new information system that culls sources on international labors standards (such as ratification information, reporting requirements, comments of the ILO's supervisory bodies, etc.) as well as national labor and social security laws.
- CARICOM Caribbean Community
- Organization of Eastern Caribbean States
- Organization of American States
 Tim Merrill, ed. Guyana: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1992
 CIA, supra.
 Tim Merrill, ed. Guyana: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1992.
 Parliament of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, supra.
 Parliament of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, supra.
 International Business Publications (Washington, D.C.). Guyana: Criminal Justice System Laws, Regulations and Procedures Handbook Volume 1, Volume 1. Guyana. 2015
 Guyana Association of Women Lawyers. What You Need to Know About the Law and You. Georgetown, Guyana: Red Thread Women's Press, 86 (1993).
 International Business Publications, supra.
 Sunita Samaroo, Facing criminal charges and the realities of the Magistrates’ Court, Kaiteur News, (Oct. 26, 2014)
 Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Resources on the Controversy in Respect of Venezuela’s Territorial Claim Over Guyana’s Essequibo Region (last visited May 2020).