B. Positive aspects
The Committee acknowledges the ongoing efforts of the State party to reform its legal
and institutional system. In particular, the Committee notes with satisfaction the following
The ratification by the State party of most of the core international human rights
The ratification by the State party of the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court, on 24 July 2004;
The recent efforts made to reform and strengthen the national legislative base,
including the following legislation:
− Combating of Trafficking in Person Act in 2005, which provides measures to combat
trafficking in persons;
− Witness Protection Bill, in May 2006;
− Mutual Cooperation in Criminal Matters Bill, in April 2006;
− Justice Protection Bill, in May 2006.
C. Factors and difficulties impeding the implementation of the Convention
The Committee notes that the State party has for several years been going through a
period of economic constraints, social violence and widespread criminality which has had and
continues to have an impact on the country. The Committee points out, however, that, as stated
in article 2, paragraph 2, of the Convention, no exceptional circumstances whatsoever may be
invoked as a justification of torture.
D. Subjects of concern and recommendations
The Committee notes that it is not clear whether all acts of torture are offences under the
State party’s criminal law (arts. 1 and 4).
The State party should take the necessary legislative measures to ensure that all acts
of torture are offences under its criminal law in accordance with the definition
contained in article 1 of the Convention, and that these offences are punishable by
appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
The Committee is concerned about past irregularities in the approval of firearm licences
in Guyana, whereby licences have been allegedly granted indiscriminately and the firearms used
to commit offences prohibited by the Convention (art. 2).