Deadly Camp Street Prison riotBy Shemuel FanfairThroughout the execution of its mandate, the Camp Street Prison Commission of Inquiry (CoI) observed the need for continuous revision and updating of the nation’s laws. To this end, the CoI report has given recommendation for the revival of the Law Revision Commission (LRC). Established in 2014, the LRC, a body within the Legal Affairs Ministry, was tasked with ensuring that there was continuous revision of the Laws of Guyana.“The work of the [Camp Street Prison] Commission in a number of instances revealed a need for the constant updating of our legislation. Formerly this problem was addressed by a Law Commission whose job it was to look at the body of legislation that is current and tailor it for the exigencies of the future…the Commission is, therefore, recommending resuscitation of a standing Law Revision Commission,” an excerpt from the report stated.According to the Law Revision Act, Chapter 2:02, the Law Revision Commission is meant to have a chairman and no more than four other members whose functions shall be to: “prepare, publish, and maintain in accordance with this Act an edition of the laws of Guyana…”The CoI report suggested that unsystematic partial measures must not be employed when the Statues are being amended.“Piecemeal patching up of the Statutes of the State is to be discouraged,” the CoI added.The Prison CoI also stated that Sentencing guidelines must be formally approved, publicised, disseminated before being enforced.“Judges and Magistrates must be trained in application of sentencing guidelines,” Commissioners further observed.It was also recommended that judges and magistrates see visitation rights of prisoners as part of their obligation, adding that visits to prisons by the judges and magistrates must be viewed as a constitutive and obligatory aspect of their duties.The Commission also pointed out that there must be a minimum number of visits per year and that the Chancellor and Chief Justice should establish, implement and monitor these stipulations.It was also noted that the release of prisoners, who are on remand should be automatically released once the time served equals the sentence which the offence would have attracted. Further, maximum limits for the time in which inmates are on remand should be taken into consideration.It has been suggested that the high number of prisoners on remand is responsible for overcrowding in the Prison system. Figures released by the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) demonstrate that 258 prisoners were remanded by magistrates at the end of February 2016.Other recommendations to ensure reduction of overcrowding included the resolution of legal issues required, the abolishing of Preliminary Inquiries (PIs) as an urgent priority of the judiciary; a robust programme of community-based sentencing alternatives and a piloting of alternative and community-based sentences should be undertaken with women and juvenile offenders.The CoI came as a result of the deadly Camp Street prison riot in which it is believed inmates lit several fires which resulted in the death of 17 of their fellow prisoners.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: Pxhere under CC 2.0 license Singapore authorities have decided to block a restructuring plan of Noble Group Limited (NGL) by not allowing the commodity trader to transfer its listing status to New Noble.This was announced in a joint statement issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Singapore Police Force and Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX Regco).As explained, the decision follows “a careful review” of the findings to-date from the ongoing investigations into NGL and Noble Resources International (NRI) by MAS, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) of the Singapore Police Force, and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).“MAS and SGX RegCo have concluded that there are significant uncertainties about the financial position of New Noble,” the parties said.“It would be imprudent to allow the re-listing as investors will not be able to trade in New Noble’s shares on an informed basis,” they pointed out.Reacting on the above decision, NGL said it “intends to stake steps to preserve value for stakeholders, including through implementation of the restructuring by an alternative process.”Noble, once the biggest Asian commodity company, has seen its stock price fall since 2015 after Iceberg Research started questioning Noble’s accounts. Noble was accused of fraudulent behavior as it allegedly overvalued its assets and underreported debt. In order to ensure its survival, Noble has been disposing of its assets and reducing its workforce.Last month, Singapore authorities said they were investigating suspected false and misleading statements and breaches of disclosure requirements under the Securities and Futures Act by Noble.What is more, the authorities also investigated potential non-compliance with accounting standards by Noble’s subsidiary NRI.On December 6, the authorities said they have been carefully reviewing since 2015 the allegations raised by various parties against NGL and following up on information and leads provided.Notwithstanding the clean audit opinions issued by NGL’s statutory auditors for financial years 2014, 2015 and 2016, the authorities continued to gather and review information. This included information relating to the substantial write-downs that were announced by NGL in late 2017 and early 2018.The review of this and other information provided the basis for authorities to commence overt investigations into potential breaches of Singapore’s laws, according to the authorities.
zoomImage Courtesy: OSG/Business Wire Florida-based tanker shipping company Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG) has taken delivery of two 50,000 dwt class product and chemical tankers at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The newbuilds, ordered back in 2018, have been named Overseas Gulf Coast and Overseas Sun Coast.As explained, they were built to comply with MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 13 Tier III standards regarding nitrogen oxide emissions within emission control areas.In addition, each vessel is fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system to meet the standards of MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 standards regarding sulphur oxide emissions, according to the company.“These tanker deliveries mark the latest in a long history of co-operation with Hyundai shipyards, being the 52nd and 53rd in the multiple series of vessels built for OSG by Hyundai,” Patrick O’Halloran, OSG’s COO, commented.The Overseas Gulf Coast and Overseas Sun Coast will be operating in the international market under the Marshall Islands flag, with both vessels having entered into one-year time charters. Following this initial contract period, OSG anticipates that the vessels will transition to operate under the US flag.Sam Norton, OSG’s President and CEO, elaborated on the potential commercial future of these vessels:“An important … initiative in the U.S. House of Representatives’ annual National Defense Authorization Act seeks to augment the current Maritime Security Program with a new Tanker Security Program. The Tanker Security Program as conceived would, if made law, create a fleet of up to ten U.S. flagged MR tankers in a program effectively replicating the structure of the current MSP program.”He further said that OSG’s both new tankers will be made available to join the above program if passed into law in the coming period.OSG provides energy transportation services for crude oil and petroleum products in the US flag markets. Its fleet currently stands at 21 vessels. In addition, OSG has two 204,000 barrel barges under construction in the US that will be Jones Act qualified vessels, with delivery anticipated during 2020.