242 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 2 M A R C H 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE gled to carry out their responsibilities efficiently and effectively. This has contributed to a low level of confidence among Guyanese people in their criminal justice system. In the summer of 2015 Judge Hicks and Rick Craig, Executive Director of JES, went to Georgetown. There they met with local stakeholders in the Guyanese criminal justice system, as well as representatives of the Canadian embassy, in order to identify where JES might be able to assist in strengthening the Guyanese justice system. Following that initial meeting, a group of experts that make up JES’s legal team for Guyana headed to Georgetown in September 2015. Under the steady and experienced guidance of Rick Craig and Evelyn Neaman, recently retired head of JES’s international programming, they met with the stakeholders in the criminal justice system; visited the police, prosecutors and magistrates; and observed their working conditions and identified challenges they experienced. When asked why she decided to join JES’s legal team for Guyana, Sandra Cunningham, Q.C., described her motivation as follows: The concept of working with police officers, prosecutors, judges and other participants in different criminal justice systems and exchanging and sharing ideas, best practices and experiences is, in my view, the best way to assist other countries in improving their systems. I have been so lucky in my work as a prosecutor here in B.C. that I was motivated to share those good experiences with others, perhaps less fortunate. … The opportunity to work with JES in Guyana gave me the chance to combine two motivating factors for me in my life: to share my passion for advocacy with others interested in being the best they can be and, at the same time, to learn about and experience another culture in a real way. Evelyn Neaman interviews (left to right) Judge Michael Hicks, Chief Judge Crabtree and Chris Johnson, Q.C., on their experience working in Guyana for the JES documentary entitled Follow the Evidence. Photo Credit: Stephen Herman.
March Pages 2017
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