CAT/C/GUY/CO/1 page 2 B. Positive aspects 4. 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 positive developments: (a) treaties; The ratification by the State party of most of the core international human rights (b) The ratification by the State party of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, on 24 July 2004; (c) 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 5. 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 6. 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. 7. 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).