Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana 1980, as amended to 2009


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

Women’s participation in the various management and decision-making processes, whether private, public or state, shall be encouraged and facilitated by laws enacted for that purpose or otherwise. (Art. 29)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.
(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision -

(c) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in the preceding paragraph may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable.
… (Art. 149)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make provision -
...
(a) (v) for the extraction from the lists and declaration of names of the candidates who have been elected, and for such provision for extraction to take into account the proportion that women form of the electorate; …
(b) (iii) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s list and in all party’s lists taken together;
(iv) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s lists for geographical constituencies taken individually or together;
(v) for the maximum percentage or the number of geographical constituencies a party can contest in which its lists contain no female candidate.
… (Art. 160)

Citizenship and Nationality

Every person who immediately before the commencement of this Constitution is a citizen of Guyana shall continue to be a citizen of Guyana. (Art. 41)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) Every person who, immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, is or has been married to a person--
(a) who continues to be a citizen of Guyana by virtue of the preceding article; or
(b) who, having died before the commencement of this Constitution, would, but for his or her death, have continued to be a citizen of Guyana on that date by virtue of that article, shall, if not otherwise a citizen, be entitled, upon making application and upon taking the oath of allegiance, to be registered as a citizen of Guyana:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen under this paragraph shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy.
… (Art. 42)

Citizenship and Nationality

Every person born in Guyana after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen of Guyana at the date of his birth:
Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Guyana by virtue of this article if at the time of his birth- (a) his father or his mother possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to an envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Guyana and neither of them is a citizen of Guyana; or
(b) his father or his mother is an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by the enemy. (Art. 43)

Citizenship and Nationality

A person born outside Guyana after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen of Guyana at the date of his birth if at that date his father or his mother is a citizen of Guyana otherwise than by virtue of this article. (Art. 44)

Citizenship and Nationality

Any person who, after the commencement of this Constitution, marries a person who is or becomes a citizen of Guyana shall be entitled, upon making application in such manner and taking such oath of allegiance as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of Guyana:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of Guyana under this article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy. (Art. 45)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) If the President is satisfied that any citizen of Guyana has at any time after 25th May, 1966, acquired by registration, naturalisation or other voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any country other than Guyana, the President may by order deprive that person of his citizenship.
(2) If the President is satisfied that any citizen of Guyana has at any time after 25 May, 1966, voluntarily claimed and exercised in a country other than Guyana any rights available to him under the law of that country, being rights accorded exclusively to its citizens, the President may by order deprive that person of his citizenship. (Art. 46)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) Parliament may make provision -
(a) for the acquisition of citizenship of Guyana by persons who do not become citizens of Guyana by virtue of the provisions of this Chapter;
(b) for depriving of his citizenship of Guyana any person who is a citizen of Guyana otherwise than by virtue of article 41 (in so far as it relates to persons who became citizens of Guyana by virtue of articles 21, 23 and 24 of the Constitution of Guyana annexed to the Guyana Independence Order 1966), 43 or 44; or
(c) for the renunciation by any person of his citizenship of Guyana. (Art. 48)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as of right from decisions of the High Court in the following cases, that is to say –
(a) final decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to the interpretation of this Constitution; and
(b) final decisions given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by article 153 (which relates to the enforcement of fundamental rights and freedoms).
(2) Nothing in paragraph (1) shall apply to the matters for which provision is made by article 163. (Art. 133)

Education

(1) Every citizen has the right to free education from nursery to university as well as at non-formal places where opportunities are provided for education and training.
… (Art. 27)

Education

Formal education is compulsory up to the age of fifteen years. (Art. 38E)

Education

(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Education

(1) Every child is entitled to free primary and secondary education in schools owned or funded by the State.
(2) The right conferred in paragraph (1) does not imply a right to free education at a specific school.
(3) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1) to the extent that the law in question makes provision for standards or qualifications, not being standards or qualifications which are discriminatory within the meaning of article 149(2), to be required for admission to a specific school. (Art. 149H)

Employment Rights and Protection

(1) Every citizen has the right to be rewarded according to the nature, quality and quantity of his or her work, to equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, and to just conditions of work. … (Art. 22)

Employment Rights and Protection

Every citizen has the right to rest, recreation and leisure. The State in co-operation with co-operatives, trade unions and other socio-economic organisations will guarantee this right by prescribing hours and conditions of work and by establishing holiday arrangements for workers, including a complex of cultural, educational and health institutions. (Art. 23)

Employment Rights and Protection

No person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her right to work, that is to say, the right to free choice of employment. (Art. 149A)

Employment Rights and Protection

(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

… Celebrate our cultural and racial diversity and strengthen our unity by eliminating any and every form of discrimination; … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

It is the duty of the State to enhance the cohesiveness of the society by eliminating discriminatory distinctions between classes, … (Art. 34)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.
(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision -

(b) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law; or
(c) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in the preceding paragraph may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable.
(4) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1)(a) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to a person’s or his or her parents’ or guardians’ respective description by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture) to be required of any person who is appointed to any office in the public service, any office in a disciplined force, or any office in the service or of a local democratic organ or of a body corporate established by any law for public purposes.
(5) Paragraph (1)(b) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorized to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in either of the two preceding paragraphs.
(6) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this article to the extent that the law in question makes provision -
(a) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in paragraph (2) may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by articles 143, 145, 146,147 and 148, being such a restriction as is authorised by article 143 (2), article 145(5), article 146(2), article 147(2) or article 148 (3), other than subparagraph (c) thereof, as the case may be;
(b) for the appropriation of revenue or other funds of Guyana; or
(c) for the protection, well-being or advancement of the Amerindians of Guyana.
(7) Paragraph (1)(b) shall not affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Art. 149)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection and benefit of the law.
(2) The State shall, for the purpose of promoting equality, take legislative and other measures designed to protect disadvantaged persons and persons with disabilities.
(3) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms guaranteed by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Art. 149D)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) Every woman is entitled to equal rights and status with men in all spheres of political, economic and social life. All forms of discrimination against women on the basis of gender or sex are illegal.
(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Gender Equality Machineries

(1) There are hereby established the following Commissions, the goals of which are to strengthen social justice and the rule of law –

(b) the Women and Gender Equality Commission;
… (Art. 212G)

Gender Equality Machineries

(1) The Women and Gender Equality Commission shall promote national recognition and acceptance that women’s rights are human rights, respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
(2) The Women and Gender Equality Commission shall consist of persons from each of the categories referred to in subparagraphs (a) ,(b) and (c), appointed by the President as follows –
(a) not less than five nor more than fifteen members, with expertise in women’s and gender equality issues, nominated by entities, by a consensual mechanism determined by the National Assembly, after the entities which shall include the Women’s Advisory Committee of the Trade Union Congress, are determined by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the elected members of the National Assembly;
(b) the Administrator of the Women’s Affairs Bureau, by whatever name that office is designated; and
(c) a member who shall be a nominee, without the right to vote, chosen by and from each of the following commissions: the Human Rights Commission, Ethnic Relations Commission, Indigenous Peoples’ Commission, and Rights of the Child Commission. (Art. 212Q)

Gender Equality Machineries

In addition to the functions specified in article 212J(2), the functions of the Women and Gender Equality Commission are to-
(a) promote the issues related to the enhancement of the status of women, girls and gender issues;
(b) promote the integration of women’s needs and interests and mainstreaming of gender issues;
(c) promote the empowerment of women;
(d) promote women’s rights as human rights;
(e) raise the awareness of the contribution of women and problems faced by women including the recognition and value of unwaged work;
(f) promote women’s needs, interests, and concerns in the wider spectrum of economic and social development and address both the practical and strategic needs of women as being different from those of men;
(g) educate and monitor employers and the public on desirable employment practices in relation to women;
(h) monitor compliance and make recommendations for the compliance with international instruments to which the Government accedes from time to time, including those already acceded to and which relate to the purpose of the Commission;
(i) evaluate any system of personal and family law, customs and practices or any law likely to affect gender equality or the status of women and make recommendations to the National Assembly with regard thereto;
(j) recommend and promote the implementation of legislation and the formulation of policies and measures so as to enhance and protect the status of women;
(k) promote, initiate or cause to be carried out research and the creation of databases on women and gender related issues including those of health, especially reproductive health, violence against women and the family, and their socio-economic and political status, as the Commission may deem relevant or as may be referred to it by the National Assembly;
(l) promote consultation and cooperation with women’s organisations in relation to decision-making that affects the lives of women;
(m) recommend training and technical assistance to support initiatives by and for women and girls; and
(n) promote the participation of women in national decision-making. (Art. 212R)

Obligations of the State

… Forge a system of governance that promotes concerted effort and broad-based participation in national decision-making in order to develop a viable economy and a harmonious community based on democratic values, social justice, fundamental human rights, and the rule of law; … (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

(1) It is the duty of Parliament, the Government, the courts and all other public agencies to be guided in the discharge of their functions by the principles set out in this Chapter2 and Parliament may provide for any of those principles to be enforceable in any court or tribunal.
… (Art. 39)

Obligations of the State

(1) Every person Guyana is entitled to the basic right to a happy, creative and productive life, free from hunger, ignorance and want. That right includes the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.
… (Art. 40)

Obligations of the State

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
(2) The rights referred to in paragraph (1) do not include any fundamental right under this Constitution.
(3) The State shall, having regard to the socio-cultural level of development of the society, take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights provided for in paragraph (1).
(4) If any person alleges that any of the rights referred to in paragraph (1), has been, is being or is about to be contravened in relation to him or her, then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Human Rights Commission in such manner as the Commission may prescribe, for redress.
(5) Nothing contained in this article shall be construed so as to abrogate any human right, not enumerated herein, which a person had at the time of the commencement of this Article.
(6) The State may divest itself or otherwise limit the Fourth Schedule extent of its obligation under any of the treaties listed in the Fourth Schedule, provided that two thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly have voted in favour of such divestment or limitation. (Art. 154A)

Obligations of Private Parties

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
… (Art. 154A)

Judicial Protection

(1) It is the duty of Parliament, the Government, the courts and all other public agencies to be guided in the discharge of their functions by the principles set out in this Chapter3 and Parliament may provide for any of those principles to be enforceable in any court or tribunal.
(2) In the interpretation of the fundamental rights provisions in this Constitution a court shall pay due regard to international law, international conventions, covenants and charters bearing on human rights. (Art. 39)

Judicial Protection

(1) An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as of right from decisions of the High Court in the following cases, that is to say –

(b) final decisions given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by article 153 (which relates to the enforcement of fundamental rights and freedoms).
… (Art. 133)

Judicial Protection

(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (6), if any person, including a person acting on behalf of another who is not acting in his or her own name, or a person acting on behalf of a group or an association acting on behalf of its members, alleges that any of the provisions of articles 138 to 151 (inclusive) has been, is being, or is likely to be contravened in relation to him or her (or in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person) then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person or association (or that other person) may apply to the High Court for redress.
(2) The High Court shall have original jurisdiction –
(a) to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of the preceding paragraph;
(b) to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of the next following paragraph, and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of article 138 to 151 (inclusive).
(3) If in any proceedings in any court subordinate to the High Court any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of articles 138 to 151 (inclusive), the person presiding in that court shall refer the question to the High Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(4) Where any question is referred to the High Court in pursuance of paragraph (3), the High Court shall give its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or if that decision is the subject of an appeal under this Constitution to the Court of Appeal, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal.
(5) Parliament may confer upon the High Court such powers in addition to those conferred by this article as may appear to Parliament to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the High Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this article.
(6) Parliament may make provision with respect to the practice and procedure -
(a) of the High Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers conferred upon it by or under this article;
(b) of the High Court and the Court of Appeal in relation to appeals to the Court of Appeal from decisions of the High Court in the exercise of such jurisdiction;
(c) of subordinate courts in relation to references to the High Court under paragraph (3),including provision with respect to the time within which any application, reference or appeal shall or may be made or brought; and, subject to any provision so made, provision may be made with respect to the matters aforesaid by rules of court. (Art. 153)

Judicial Protection

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
… (Art. 154A)

National Human Rights Bodies

(1) There shall be an Ombudsman for Guyana.
(2) All matters relating to the appointment and functions of the Ombudsman and other matters connected therewith are regulated by articles 191 to 196 (inclusive). (Art. 122)

National Human Rights Bodies

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.

(4) If any person alleges that any of the rights referred to in paragraph (1), has been, is being or is about to be contravened in relation to him or her, then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Human Rights Commission in such manner as the Commission may prescribe, for redress.
… (Art. 154A)

National Human Rights Bodies

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article, the Ombudsman may investigate any action taken by any department of Government or by any other authority to which this article applies, or by the President, Ministers, officers or members of such a department or authority, being action taken in exercise of the administrative functions of that department or authority.
(2) The Ombudsman may investigate any such action as aforesaid in any of the following circumstances, that is to say -
(a) if a complaint in respect of the action is duly made to the Ombudsman by any person or body or persons, whether incorporated or not alleging that the complainant has sustained injustice in consequence of a fault in administration;
(b) if the President, a Minister or a member of the National Assembly requests the Ombudsman to investigate the action on the ground that a person or body of persons specified in the request has or may have sustained such injustice;
(c) in any other circumstances in which the Ombudsman considers that he ought to investigate the action on the ground that some person or body of persons has or may have sustained such injustice.
(3) The Ombudsman shall not investigate under this Subtitle -
(a) any action in respect of which the complainant has or had -
(i) a remedy by way of proceedings in a court; or
(ii) a right of appeal, reference or review to or before an independent and impartial tribunal other than a court; or
(b) any such action, or action taken with respect to any such matter, as is excluded from investigation under article 193:
Provided that the Ombudsman -
(i) may conduct an investigation notwithstanding that the complainant has or had a remedy by way of proceedings in a court if satisfied that in the particular circumstances it is not reasonable to expect him to take or to have taken such proceedings;
(ii) shall not in any case be precluded from conducting an investigation in respect of any matter by reason only that it is open to the complainant to apply to the High Court for redress under article 153(1) (which relates to redress for contraventions of provisions for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms).
… (Art. 192)

National Human Rights Bodies

(1) The Human Rights Commission shall promote the observance of and respect for, and protect and investigate violations of the rights recognized by this Constitution and any other law relating to equality of opportunity and treatment (hereinafter referred to as “the rights”).

(4) In addition to the Chairperson, there shall be four members of the Commission who shall be Chairpersons of the Ethnic Relations Commission, Women and Gender Equality Commission, Indigenous People’s Commission and Rights of the Child Commission.
… (Art. 212N)

National Human Rights Bodies

(1) The functions of the Human Rights Commission are to –
(a) monitor the observance of the international instruments to which the Government accedes from time to time, including those already acceded to and specified in the Fourth Schedule;
(b) monitor and assess compliance with the rights and report the need for any amendment of the law relating thereto to the National Assembly;
(c) educate the public regarding the nature and content of the rights;
(d) make recommendations to any person or any entity, including a ministry or government department, relating to matters affecting compliance with and adoption of measures for the promotion of the rights;
(e) carry out or cause to be carried out research and studies concerning the observance of the rights and report the findings and recommendations thereon to the National Assembly;
(f) monitor and review all existing and proposed legislation, policies and measures for compliance with the rights and report the need for any amendment to any legislation to the National Assembly;
(g) investigate complaints of, or initiate investigations into, violations of the rights;
(h) resolve disputes or rectify acts or omissions by mediation, conciliation or negotiation;
(i) liaise with governmental and nongovernmental organisations, and other relevant bodies to address the complaints and concerns of persons regarding matters under its purview;
(j) take appropriate action on behalf of persons whose rights have been, are being or are likely to be violated;
(k) enlist the aid of such persons as may be necessary to give expert advice in order to facilitate its functions;
(l) establish as part of its Secretariat, such units as are necessary for, inter alia, the purpose of monitoring compliance with the laws relating to the rights, and for educating employers in the public and private sector and the general public on desirable employment practices;
(m) prepare and submit reports to the National Assembly pertaining to any convention, covenant or charter relating to the objects of the Commission; and
(n) do all other acts and things as may be necessary to facilitate the efficient discharge of the functions of the Commission.
(2) If any person alleges that any of the rights has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him or her, then, without prejudice to any other action which is lawfully available to him or her, with respect to the same matter, the Commission shall have the power to institute legal action on behalf of the complainant for redress. (Art. 212O)

Indigenous Peoples

… Celebrate our cultural and racial diversity and strengthen our unity by eliminating any and every form of discrimination;
Value the special place in our nation of the Indigenous Peoples and recognize their right as citizens to land and security and to their promulgation of policies for their communities; … (Preamble)

Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous peoples shall have the right to the protection, preservation and promulgation of their languages, cultural heritage and way of life. (Art. 149G)

Indigenous Peoples

(1) The Indigenous Peoples' Commission shall establish mechanisms to enhance the status of indigenous peoples and to respond to their legitimate demands and needs.
(2) The Indigenous Peoples’ Commission shall consist of persons of the categories referred to in sub-paragraphs (a) , (b) and (c) appointed by the President as follows -
(a) not more than ten members nominated by entities, by a consensual mechanism determined by the National Assembly, after the entities are determined by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all elected members of the National Assembly;
(b) three persons, at least one being a woman nominated by the Toushaos Council and two persons including one woman nominated by Amerindian organisations determined by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all elected members of the National Assembly; and
(c) a member who shall be a nominee, without the right to vote, chosen by and from each of the following Commissions: the Human Rights Commission, Ethnic Relations Commission, Women and Gender Equality Commission and the Rights of the Child Commission. (Art. 212S)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(2) The provisions of Title 1 of Part 2 shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 40)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) This article applies to any period when--
(a) Guyana is at war; or
(b) there is in force a proclamation (in this article referred to as a "proclamation of emergency") made by the President declaring that a state of public emergency exists for the purposes of this article; or
(c) there is in force a resolution of the National Assembly, in favour of which there were cast the votes of not fewer than two-thirds of all the elected members, declaring that democratic institutions in Guyana are threatened by subversion.
(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of article 139, 140(2) or 143, any provision of article 144 other than paragraph (4) thereof, or any provision of articles 145 to 149 (inclusive) to the extent that the law in question makes in relation to any period to which this article applies provision, or authorises the doing during any such period of anything, which is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period for the purpose of dealing with that situation.
… (Art. 150)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.

(6) The State may divest itself or otherwise limit the Fourth Schedule extent of its obligation under any of the treaties listed in the Fourth Schedule, provided that two thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly have voted in favour of such divestment or limitation. (Art. 154A)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.
(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision -

(b) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 149)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) All persons, whether born in or out of wedlock, and whether born prior to the enactment of this article or not, are born equal, have equal status and are entitled to equal rights.
(2) Nothing contained in paragraph (1) shall be taken to affect vested rights. (Art. 149E)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

Women’s participation in the various management and decision-making processes, whether private, public or state, shall be encouraged and facilitated by laws enacted for that purpose or otherwise. (Art. 29)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.

(4) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1)(a) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to a person’s or his or her parents’ or guardians’ respective description by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture) to be required of any person who is appointed to any office in the public service, any office in a disciplined force, or any office in the service or of a local democratic organ or of a body corporate established by any law for public purposes.
… (Art. 149)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) Every woman is entitled to equal rights and status with men in all spheres of political, economic and social life. All forms of discrimination against women on the basis of gender or sex are illegal.
(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(1) The Ethnic Relations Commission shall consist of
(a) not less than five nor more than fifteen members nominated by entities, by a consensual mechanism determined by the National Assembly, including entities, representative of religious bodies, the labour movement, the private business sector, youth and women after the entities are determined by the votes not less than two - thirds of all elected members of the National Assembly;
(b) a member who shall be a nominee, without the right to vote, chosen by and from each of the following commissions to be established under this Constitution, Indigenous Peoples’ Commission, Woman and Gender Equality Commission, Commission for the Rights of the Child and Human Rights Commission. (Art. 212B)

Political Rights and Association

Women’s participation in the various management and decision-making processes, whether private, public or state, shall be encouraged and facilitated by laws enacted for that purpose or otherwise. (Art. 29)

Political Rights and Association

Subject to the provisions of article 159, every person may vote at an election if he is of the age of eighteen years or upwards and is either a citizen of Guyana or a Commonwealth citizen domiciled and resident in Guyana. (Art. 59)

Political Rights and Association

(1) Except to his or her own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of assembly, association and freedom to demonstrate peacefully, that to say, his or her right to assemble freely, to demonstrate peacefully and to associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties, trade unions or other associations for the protection of his or her interests.
… (Art. 147)

Political Rights and Association

(1) Every woman is entitled to equal rights and status with men in all spheres of political, economic and social life. All forms of discrimination against women on the basis of gender or sex are illegal.
(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Political Parties

The right to form political parties and their freedom of action are guaranteed. Political parties must respect the principles of national sovereignty and of democracy. (Art. 10)

Political Parties

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make provision -

(b) (iii) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s list and in all party’s lists taken together;
(iv) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s lists for geographical constituencies taken individually or together;
(v) for the maximum percentage or the number of geographical constituencies a party can contest in which its lists contain no female candidate.
… (Art. 160)

Political Parties

(1) All persons, institutions and political parties are prohibited from taking any action or advancing, disseminating or communicating any idea which may result in racial or ethnic division among the people.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), Parliament shall by law make provision for offences and penalties, including penalties preventing or disbarring any person or political party from contesting any election for membership or being a member, as the case may be, of the local democratic organs or of the National Assembly. (Art. 160A)

Electoral Bodies

Elections shall be independently supervised by the Election Commission in accordance with the provisions of article 162. (Art. 62)

Head of State

There shall be a President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, who shall be Head of State, the supreme executive authority, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Republic. (Art. 89)

Head of State

(1) A person shall be qualified for election as President and shall not be so qualified unless he or she –
(a) is a citizen of Guyana and is Guyanese by birth or parentage as defined in articles 43 and 44;
(b) is residing in Guyana on the date of nomination for election and was continuously residing therein for a period of seven years immediately before that date; and
(c) is otherwise qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.
… (Art. 90)

Vice-President

Subject to the provisions of article 185, there shall be an office of Prime Minister and such offices of Vice-President and other offices of Minister of the Government of Guyana as may be established by Parliament or, subject to the provisions of any Act of Parliament, by the President. (Art. 100)

Vice-President

(1) The President may appoint Vice-Presidents for the purpose of assisting him in the discharge of his functions.
(2) If he is not otherwise the holder of an office of Vice-President, the person holding the office of Prime Minister shall, by virtue of holding that office, be a Vice-President, and he shall have precedence over any other Vice-President. (Art. 102)

Government

Subject to the provisions of article 185, there shall be an office of Prime Minister and such offices of Vice-President and other offices of Minister of the Government of Guyana as may be established by Parliament or, subject to the provisions of any Act of Parliament, by the President. (Art. 100)

Government

(1) The President shall appoint an elected member of the National Assembly to be Prime Minister of Guyana: Provided that a person who is not eligible to be elected as President shall not be eligible for appointment as Prime Minister.
… (Art. 101)

Government

(1) The Prime Minister and every other Vice-President shall be a Minister of the Government of Guyana.
(2) Subject to the provisions of article 101(1), Vice-Presidents and other Ministers shall be appointed by the President from among persons who are elected members of the National Assembly or subject to subparagraph (vii) of paragraph (3)(a) of article 160 are qualified to be elected as such members.
(3) Not more than four Ministers and two Parliamentary Secretaries shall be appointed by the President from among persons who are qualified to be elected as members of the National Assembly. (Art. 103)

Government

(1) There shall be a Cabinet for Guyana, which shall consist of the President, the Prime Minister, the Vice-Presidents, and such other Ministers as may be appointed to it by the President. (Art. 106)

Legislature

There shall be a Parliament of Guyana, which shall consist of the President and the National Assembly. (Art. 51)

Legislature

(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and to articles 105, 185 and 186, the National Assembly shall consist of such number of members as shall be determined by the Assembly who shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and, subject thereto, in accordance with any law made by Parliament in that behalf.
… (Art. 52)

Legislature

Subject to article 155 (which relates to allegiance, insanity, and other matters) a person shall be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he--
(a) is a citizen of Guyana of the age of eighteen years or upwards; and
(b) is able to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, to read the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of the Assembly. (Art. 53)

Legislature

(1) Election of members of the National Assembly shall be by secret ballot.
(2) Subject to the provisions of article 160(2), such number of members of the National Assembly as determined by the Assembly, shall be elected in accordance with the system of proportional representation prescribed by article 160(1). (Art. 60)

Legislature

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make provision -
...
(a) (v) for the extraction from the lists and declaration of names of the candidates who have been elected, and for such provision for extraction to take into account the proportion that women form of the electorate; …
(b) (iii) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s list and in all party’s lists taken together;
(iv) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s lists for geographical constituencies taken individually or together;
(v) for the maximum percentage or the number of geographical constituencies a party can contest in which its lists contain no female candidate.
… (Art. 160)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

… Celebrate our cultural and racial diversity and strengthen our unity by eliminating any and every form of discrimination;
Value the special place in our nation of the Indigenous Peoples and recognize their right as citizens to land and security and to their promulgation of policies for their communities; … (Preamble)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Land is for social use and must go to the tiller. (Art. 18)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

Every citizen has the right to own personal property which includes such assets as dwelling houses and the land on which they stand, farmsteads, tools and equipment, motor vehicles and bank accounts. (Art. 19)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

The right of inheritance is guaranteed. (Art. 20)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.
(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision –

(b) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 149)

Protection from Violence

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Art. 140)

Protection from Violence

(1) No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment.
… (Art. 141)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) The preceding two articles4  apply to any benefits that are or may become payable under any law providing for the grant of pensions, compensation, gratuities or other like allowances to persons in respect of their service as public officers or to the widows, children, dependants or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service.
… (Art. 215)

Status of the Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of Guyana and, if any other law is inconsistent with it, that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Art. 8)

Status of International Law

(2) In the interpretation of the fundamental rights provisions in this Constitution a court shall pay due regard to international law, international conventions, covenants and charters bearing on human rights. (Art. 39)

Status of International Law

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
(2) The rights referred to in paragraph (1) do not include any fundamental right under this Constitution.
(3) The State shall, having regard to the socio-cultural level of development of the society, take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights provided for in paragraph (1).
(4) If any person alleges that any of the rights referred to in paragraph (1), has been, is being or is about to be contravened in relation to him or her, then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Human Rights Commission in such manner as the Commission may prescribe, for redress.
(5) Nothing contained in this article shall be construed so as to abrogate any human right, not enumerated herein, which a person had at the time of the commencement of this Article.
(6) The State may divest itself or otherwise limit the Fourth Schedule extent of its obligation under any of the treaties listed in the Fourth Schedule, provided that two thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly have voted in favour of such divestment or limitation. (Art. 154A)

Status of International Law

Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Convention Against Torture and Other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women. (Fourth Schedule, Conventions)5

Religious Law

Guyana is an indivisible, secular, democratic sovereign state in the course of transition from capitalism to socialism and shall be known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. (Art. 1)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

Women’s participation in the various management and decision-making processes, whether private, public or state, shall be encouraged and facilitated by laws enacted for that purpose or otherwise. (Art. 29)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.
(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision -

(c) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in the preceding paragraph may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable.
… (Art. 149)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make provision -
...
(a) (v) for the extraction from the lists and declaration of names of the candidates who have been elected, and for such provision for extraction to take into account the proportion that women form of the electorate; …
(b) (iii) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s list and in all party’s lists taken together;
(iv) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s lists for geographical constituencies taken individually or together;
(v) for the maximum percentage or the number of geographical constituencies a party can contest in which its lists contain no female candidate.
… (Art. 160)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Every person who immediately before the commencement of this Constitution is a citizen of Guyana shall continue to be a citizen of Guyana. (Art. 41)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) Every person who, immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, is or has been married to a person--
(a) who continues to be a citizen of Guyana by virtue of the preceding article; or
(b) who, having died before the commencement of this Constitution, would, but for his or her death, have continued to be a citizen of Guyana on that date by virtue of that article, shall, if not otherwise a citizen, be entitled, upon making application and upon taking the oath of allegiance, to be registered as a citizen of Guyana:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen under this paragraph shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy.
… (Art. 42)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Every person born in Guyana after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen of Guyana at the date of his birth:
Provided that a person shall not become a citizen of Guyana by virtue of this article if at the time of his birth- (a) his father or his mother possesses such immunity from suit and legal process as is accorded to an envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to Guyana and neither of them is a citizen of Guyana; or
(b) his father or his mother is an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place then under occupation by the enemy. (Art. 43)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A person born outside Guyana after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen of Guyana at the date of his birth if at that date his father or his mother is a citizen of Guyana otherwise than by virtue of this article. (Art. 44)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Any person who, after the commencement of this Constitution, marries a person who is or becomes a citizen of Guyana shall be entitled, upon making application in such manner and taking such oath of allegiance as may be prescribed, to be registered as a citizen of Guyana:
Provided that the right to be registered as a citizen of Guyana under this article shall be subject to such exceptions or qualifications as may be prescribed in the interests of national security or public policy. (Art. 45)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) If the President is satisfied that any citizen of Guyana has at any time after 25th May, 1966, acquired by registration, naturalisation or other voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any country other than Guyana, the President may by order deprive that person of his citizenship.
(2) If the President is satisfied that any citizen of Guyana has at any time after 25 May, 1966, voluntarily claimed and exercised in a country other than Guyana any rights available to him under the law of that country, being rights accorded exclusively to its citizens, the President may by order deprive that person of his citizenship. (Art. 46)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) Parliament may make provision -
(a) for the acquisition of citizenship of Guyana by persons who do not become citizens of Guyana by virtue of the provisions of this Chapter;
(b) for depriving of his citizenship of Guyana any person who is a citizen of Guyana otherwise than by virtue of article 41 (in so far as it relates to persons who became citizens of Guyana by virtue of articles 21, 23 and 24 of the Constitution of Guyana annexed to the Guyana Independence Order 1966), 43 or 44; or
(c) for the renunciation by any person of his citizenship of Guyana. (Art. 48)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as of right from decisions of the High Court in the following cases, that is to say –
(a) final decisions in any civil or criminal proceedings on questions as to the interpretation of this Constitution; and
(b) final decisions given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by article 153 (which relates to the enforcement of fundamental rights and freedoms).
(2) Nothing in paragraph (1) shall apply to the matters for which provision is made by article 163. (Art. 133)

Education

English

(1) Every citizen has the right to free education from nursery to university as well as at non-formal places where opportunities are provided for education and training.
… (Art. 27)

Education

English

Formal education is compulsory up to the age of fifteen years. (Art. 38E)

Education

English

(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Education

English

(1) Every child is entitled to free primary and secondary education in schools owned or funded by the State.
(2) The right conferred in paragraph (1) does not imply a right to free education at a specific school.
(3) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1) to the extent that the law in question makes provision for standards or qualifications, not being standards or qualifications which are discriminatory within the meaning of article 149(2), to be required for admission to a specific school. (Art. 149H)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

(1) Every citizen has the right to be rewarded according to the nature, quality and quantity of his or her work, to equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, and to just conditions of work. … (Art. 22)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

Every citizen has the right to rest, recreation and leisure. The State in co-operation with co-operatives, trade unions and other socio-economic organisations will guarantee this right by prescribing hours and conditions of work and by establishing holiday arrangements for workers, including a complex of cultural, educational and health institutions. (Art. 23)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

No person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her right to work, that is to say, the right to free choice of employment. (Art. 149A)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

… Celebrate our cultural and racial diversity and strengthen our unity by eliminating any and every form of discrimination; … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

It is the duty of the State to enhance the cohesiveness of the society by eliminating discriminatory distinctions between classes, … (Art. 34)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.
(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision -

(b) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law; or
(c) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in the preceding paragraph may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description, is reasonably justifiable.
(4) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1)(a) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to a person’s or his or her parents’ or guardians’ respective description by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture) to be required of any person who is appointed to any office in the public service, any office in a disciplined force, or any office in the service or of a local democratic organ or of a body corporate established by any law for public purposes.
(5) Paragraph (1)(b) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorized to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in either of the two preceding paragraphs.
(6) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this article to the extent that the law in question makes provision -
(a) whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in paragraph (2) may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by articles 143, 145, 146,147 and 148, being such a restriction as is authorised by article 143 (2), article 145(5), article 146(2), article 147(2) or article 148 (3), other than subparagraph (c) thereof, as the case may be;
(b) for the appropriation of revenue or other funds of Guyana; or
(c) for the protection, well-being or advancement of the Amerindians of Guyana.
(7) Paragraph (1)(b) shall not affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Art. 149)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or equal protection and benefit of the law.
(2) The State shall, for the purpose of promoting equality, take legislative and other measures designed to protect disadvantaged persons and persons with disabilities.
(3) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms guaranteed by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Art. 149D)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) Every woman is entitled to equal rights and status with men in all spheres of political, economic and social life. All forms of discrimination against women on the basis of gender or sex are illegal.
(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Gender Equality Machineries

English

(1) There are hereby established the following Commissions, the goals of which are to strengthen social justice and the rule of law –

(b) the Women and Gender Equality Commission;
… (Art. 212G)

Gender Equality Machineries

English

(1) The Women and Gender Equality Commission shall promote national recognition and acceptance that women’s rights are human rights, respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
(2) The Women and Gender Equality Commission shall consist of persons from each of the categories referred to in subparagraphs (a) ,(b) and (c), appointed by the President as follows –
(a) not less than five nor more than fifteen members, with expertise in women’s and gender equality issues, nominated by entities, by a consensual mechanism determined by the National Assembly, after the entities which shall include the Women’s Advisory Committee of the Trade Union Congress, are determined by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the elected members of the National Assembly;
(b) the Administrator of the Women’s Affairs Bureau, by whatever name that office is designated; and
(c) a member who shall be a nominee, without the right to vote, chosen by and from each of the following commissions: the Human Rights Commission, Ethnic Relations Commission, Indigenous Peoples’ Commission, and Rights of the Child Commission. (Art. 212Q)

Gender Equality Machineries

English

In addition to the functions specified in article 212J(2), the functions of the Women and Gender Equality Commission are to-
(a) promote the issues related to the enhancement of the status of women, girls and gender issues;
(b) promote the integration of women’s needs and interests and mainstreaming of gender issues;
(c) promote the empowerment of women;
(d) promote women’s rights as human rights;
(e) raise the awareness of the contribution of women and problems faced by women including the recognition and value of unwaged work;
(f) promote women’s needs, interests, and concerns in the wider spectrum of economic and social development and address both the practical and strategic needs of women as being different from those of men;
(g) educate and monitor employers and the public on desirable employment practices in relation to women;
(h) monitor compliance and make recommendations for the compliance with international instruments to which the Government accedes from time to time, including those already acceded to and which relate to the purpose of the Commission;
(i) evaluate any system of personal and family law, customs and practices or any law likely to affect gender equality or the status of women and make recommendations to the National Assembly with regard thereto;
(j) recommend and promote the implementation of legislation and the formulation of policies and measures so as to enhance and protect the status of women;
(k) promote, initiate or cause to be carried out research and the creation of databases on women and gender related issues including those of health, especially reproductive health, violence against women and the family, and their socio-economic and political status, as the Commission may deem relevant or as may be referred to it by the National Assembly;
(l) promote consultation and cooperation with women’s organisations in relation to decision-making that affects the lives of women;
(m) recommend training and technical assistance to support initiatives by and for women and girls; and
(n) promote the participation of women in national decision-making. (Art. 212R)

Obligations of the State

English

… Forge a system of governance that promotes concerted effort and broad-based participation in national decision-making in order to develop a viable economy and a harmonious community based on democratic values, social justice, fundamental human rights, and the rule of law; … (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

English

(1) It is the duty of Parliament, the Government, the courts and all other public agencies to be guided in the discharge of their functions by the principles set out in this Chapter2 and Parliament may provide for any of those principles to be enforceable in any court or tribunal.
… (Art. 39)

Obligations of the State

English

(1) Every person Guyana is entitled to the basic right to a happy, creative and productive life, free from hunger, ignorance and want. That right includes the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.
… (Art. 40)

Obligations of the State

English

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
(2) The rights referred to in paragraph (1) do not include any fundamental right under this Constitution.
(3) The State shall, having regard to the socio-cultural level of development of the society, take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights provided for in paragraph (1).
(4) If any person alleges that any of the rights referred to in paragraph (1), has been, is being or is about to be contravened in relation to him or her, then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Human Rights Commission in such manner as the Commission may prescribe, for redress.
(5) Nothing contained in this article shall be construed so as to abrogate any human right, not enumerated herein, which a person had at the time of the commencement of this Article.
(6) The State may divest itself or otherwise limit the Fourth Schedule extent of its obligation under any of the treaties listed in the Fourth Schedule, provided that two thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly have voted in favour of such divestment or limitation. (Art. 154A)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
… (Art. 154A)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) It is the duty of Parliament, the Government, the courts and all other public agencies to be guided in the discharge of their functions by the principles set out in this Chapter3 and Parliament may provide for any of those principles to be enforceable in any court or tribunal.
(2) In the interpretation of the fundamental rights provisions in this Constitution a court shall pay due regard to international law, international conventions, covenants and charters bearing on human rights. (Art. 39)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) An appeal to the Court of Appeal shall lie as of right from decisions of the High Court in the following cases, that is to say –

(b) final decisions given in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred on the High Court by article 153 (which relates to the enforcement of fundamental rights and freedoms).
… (Art. 133)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (6), if any person, including a person acting on behalf of another who is not acting in his or her own name, or a person acting on behalf of a group or an association acting on behalf of its members, alleges that any of the provisions of articles 138 to 151 (inclusive) has been, is being, or is likely to be contravened in relation to him or her (or in the case of a person who is detained, if any other person alleges such a contravention in relation to the detained person) then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person or association (or that other person) may apply to the High Court for redress.
(2) The High Court shall have original jurisdiction –
(a) to hear and determine any application made by any person in pursuance of the preceding paragraph;
(b) to determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of the next following paragraph, and may make such orders, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of article 138 to 151 (inclusive).
(3) If in any proceedings in any court subordinate to the High Court any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of articles 138 to 151 (inclusive), the person presiding in that court shall refer the question to the High Court unless, in his opinion, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(4) Where any question is referred to the High Court in pursuance of paragraph (3), the High Court shall give its decision upon the question and the court in which the question arose shall dispose of the case in accordance with that decision or if that decision is the subject of an appeal under this Constitution to the Court of Appeal, in accordance with the decision of the Court of Appeal.
(5) Parliament may confer upon the High Court such powers in addition to those conferred by this article as may appear to Parliament to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the High Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this article.
(6) Parliament may make provision with respect to the practice and procedure -
(a) of the High Court in relation to the jurisdiction and powers conferred upon it by or under this article;
(b) of the High Court and the Court of Appeal in relation to appeals to the Court of Appeal from decisions of the High Court in the exercise of such jurisdiction;
(c) of subordinate courts in relation to references to the High Court under paragraph (3),including provision with respect to the time within which any application, reference or appeal shall or may be made or brought; and, subject to any provision so made, provision may be made with respect to the matters aforesaid by rules of court. (Art. 153)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
… (Art. 154A)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(1) There shall be an Ombudsman for Guyana.
(2) All matters relating to the appointment and functions of the Ombudsman and other matters connected therewith are regulated by articles 191 to 196 (inclusive). (Art. 122)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.

(4) If any person alleges that any of the rights referred to in paragraph (1), has been, is being or is about to be contravened in relation to him or her, then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Human Rights Commission in such manner as the Commission may prescribe, for redress.
… (Art. 154A)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article, the Ombudsman may investigate any action taken by any department of Government or by any other authority to which this article applies, or by the President, Ministers, officers or members of such a department or authority, being action taken in exercise of the administrative functions of that department or authority.
(2) The Ombudsman may investigate any such action as aforesaid in any of the following circumstances, that is to say -
(a) if a complaint in respect of the action is duly made to the Ombudsman by any person or body or persons, whether incorporated or not alleging that the complainant has sustained injustice in consequence of a fault in administration;
(b) if the President, a Minister or a member of the National Assembly requests the Ombudsman to investigate the action on the ground that a person or body of persons specified in the request has or may have sustained such injustice;
(c) in any other circumstances in which the Ombudsman considers that he ought to investigate the action on the ground that some person or body of persons has or may have sustained such injustice.
(3) The Ombudsman shall not investigate under this Subtitle -
(a) any action in respect of which the complainant has or had -
(i) a remedy by way of proceedings in a court; or
(ii) a right of appeal, reference or review to or before an independent and impartial tribunal other than a court; or
(b) any such action, or action taken with respect to any such matter, as is excluded from investigation under article 193:
Provided that the Ombudsman -
(i) may conduct an investigation notwithstanding that the complainant has or had a remedy by way of proceedings in a court if satisfied that in the particular circumstances it is not reasonable to expect him to take or to have taken such proceedings;
(ii) shall not in any case be precluded from conducting an investigation in respect of any matter by reason only that it is open to the complainant to apply to the High Court for redress under article 153(1) (which relates to redress for contraventions of provisions for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms).
… (Art. 192)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(1) The Human Rights Commission shall promote the observance of and respect for, and protect and investigate violations of the rights recognized by this Constitution and any other law relating to equality of opportunity and treatment (hereinafter referred to as “the rights”).

(4) In addition to the Chairperson, there shall be four members of the Commission who shall be Chairpersons of the Ethnic Relations Commission, Women and Gender Equality Commission, Indigenous People’s Commission and Rights of the Child Commission.
… (Art. 212N)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(1) The functions of the Human Rights Commission are to –
(a) monitor the observance of the international instruments to which the Government accedes from time to time, including those already acceded to and specified in the Fourth Schedule;
(b) monitor and assess compliance with the rights and report the need for any amendment of the law relating thereto to the National Assembly;
(c) educate the public regarding the nature and content of the rights;
(d) make recommendations to any person or any entity, including a ministry or government department, relating to matters affecting compliance with and adoption of measures for the promotion of the rights;
(e) carry out or cause to be carried out research and studies concerning the observance of the rights and report the findings and recommendations thereon to the National Assembly;
(f) monitor and review all existing and proposed legislation, policies and measures for compliance with the rights and report the need for any amendment to any legislation to the National Assembly;
(g) investigate complaints of, or initiate investigations into, violations of the rights;
(h) resolve disputes or rectify acts or omissions by mediation, conciliation or negotiation;
(i) liaise with governmental and nongovernmental organisations, and other relevant bodies to address the complaints and concerns of persons regarding matters under its purview;
(j) take appropriate action on behalf of persons whose rights have been, are being or are likely to be violated;
(k) enlist the aid of such persons as may be necessary to give expert advice in order to facilitate its functions;
(l) establish as part of its Secretariat, such units as are necessary for, inter alia, the purpose of monitoring compliance with the laws relating to the rights, and for educating employers in the public and private sector and the general public on desirable employment practices;
(m) prepare and submit reports to the National Assembly pertaining to any convention, covenant or charter relating to the objects of the Commission; and
(n) do all other acts and things as may be necessary to facilitate the efficient discharge of the functions of the Commission.
(2) If any person alleges that any of the rights has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him or her, then, without prejudice to any other action which is lawfully available to him or her, with respect to the same matter, the Commission shall have the power to institute legal action on behalf of the complainant for redress. (Art. 212O)

Indigenous Peoples

English

… Celebrate our cultural and racial diversity and strengthen our unity by eliminating any and every form of discrimination;
Value the special place in our nation of the Indigenous Peoples and recognize their right as citizens to land and security and to their promulgation of policies for their communities; … (Preamble)

Indigenous Peoples

English

Indigenous peoples shall have the right to the protection, preservation and promulgation of their languages, cultural heritage and way of life. (Art. 149G)

Indigenous Peoples

English

(1) The Indigenous Peoples' Commission shall establish mechanisms to enhance the status of indigenous peoples and to respond to their legitimate demands and needs.
(2) The Indigenous Peoples’ Commission shall consist of persons of the categories referred to in sub-paragraphs (a) , (b) and (c) appointed by the President as follows -
(a) not more than ten members nominated by entities, by a consensual mechanism determined by the National Assembly, after the entities are determined by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all elected members of the National Assembly;
(b) three persons, at least one being a woman nominated by the Toushaos Council and two persons including one woman nominated by Amerindian organisations determined by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all elected members of the National Assembly; and
(c) a member who shall be a nominee, without the right to vote, chosen by and from each of the following Commissions: the Human Rights Commission, Ethnic Relations Commission, Women and Gender Equality Commission and the Rights of the Child Commission. (Art. 212S)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(2) The provisions of Title 1 of Part 2 shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to the aforesaid fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 40)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) This article applies to any period when--
(a) Guyana is at war; or
(b) there is in force a proclamation (in this article referred to as a "proclamation of emergency") made by the President declaring that a state of public emergency exists for the purposes of this article; or
(c) there is in force a resolution of the National Assembly, in favour of which there were cast the votes of not fewer than two-thirds of all the elected members, declaring that democratic institutions in Guyana are threatened by subversion.
(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of article 139, 140(2) or 143, any provision of article 144 other than paragraph (4) thereof, or any provision of articles 145 to 149 (inclusive) to the extent that the law in question makes in relation to any period to which this article applies provision, or authorises the doing during any such period of anything, which is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period for the purpose of dealing with that situation.
… (Art. 150)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.

(6) The State may divest itself or otherwise limit the Fourth Schedule extent of its obligation under any of the treaties listed in the Fourth Schedule, provided that two thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly have voted in favour of such divestment or limitation. (Art. 154A)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.
(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision -

(b) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 149)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) All persons, whether born in or out of wedlock, and whether born prior to the enactment of this article or not, are born equal, have equal status and are entitled to equal rights.
(2) Nothing contained in paragraph (1) shall be taken to affect vested rights. (Art. 149E)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

Women’s participation in the various management and decision-making processes, whether private, public or state, shall be encouraged and facilitated by laws enacted for that purpose or otherwise. (Art. 29)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.

(4) Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of paragraph (1)(a) to the extent that it makes provision with respect to standards or qualifications (not being standards or qualifications specifically relating to a person’s or his or her parents’ or guardians’ respective description by race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture) to be required of any person who is appointed to any office in the public service, any office in a disciplined force, or any office in the service or of a local democratic organ or of a body corporate established by any law for public purposes.
… (Art. 149)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) Every woman is entitled to equal rights and status with men in all spheres of political, economic and social life. All forms of discrimination against women on the basis of gender or sex are illegal.
(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(1) The Ethnic Relations Commission shall consist of
(a) not less than five nor more than fifteen members nominated by entities, by a consensual mechanism determined by the National Assembly, including entities, representative of religious bodies, the labour movement, the private business sector, youth and women after the entities are determined by the votes not less than two - thirds of all elected members of the National Assembly;
(b) a member who shall be a nominee, without the right to vote, chosen by and from each of the following commissions to be established under this Constitution, Indigenous Peoples’ Commission, Woman and Gender Equality Commission, Commission for the Rights of the Child and Human Rights Commission. (Art. 212B)

Political Rights and Association

English

Women’s participation in the various management and decision-making processes, whether private, public or state, shall be encouraged and facilitated by laws enacted for that purpose or otherwise. (Art. 29)

Political Rights and Association

English

Subject to the provisions of article 159, every person may vote at an election if he is of the age of eighteen years or upwards and is either a citizen of Guyana or a Commonwealth citizen domiciled and resident in Guyana. (Art. 59)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) Except to his or her own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of assembly, association and freedom to demonstrate peacefully, that to say, his or her right to assemble freely, to demonstrate peacefully and to associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties, trade unions or other associations for the protection of his or her interests.
… (Art. 147)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) Every woman is entitled to equal rights and status with men in all spheres of political, economic and social life. All forms of discrimination against women on the basis of gender or sex are illegal.
(2) Every woman is entitled to equal access with men to academic, vocational and professional training, equal opportunities in employment, remuneration and promotion and in social, political and cultural activity. (Art. 149F)

Political Parties

English

The right to form political parties and their freedom of action are guaranteed. Political parties must respect the principles of national sovereignty and of democracy. (Art. 10)

Political Parties

English

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make provision -

(b) (iii) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s list and in all party’s lists taken together;
(iv) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s lists for geographical constituencies taken individually or together;
(v) for the maximum percentage or the number of geographical constituencies a party can contest in which its lists contain no female candidate.
… (Art. 160)

Political Parties

English

(1) All persons, institutions and political parties are prohibited from taking any action or advancing, disseminating or communicating any idea which may result in racial or ethnic division among the people.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), Parliament shall by law make provision for offences and penalties, including penalties preventing or disbarring any person or political party from contesting any election for membership or being a member, as the case may be, of the local democratic organs or of the National Assembly. (Art. 160A)

Electoral Bodies

English

Elections shall be independently supervised by the Election Commission in accordance with the provisions of article 162. (Art. 62)

Head of State

English

There shall be a President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, who shall be Head of State, the supreme executive authority, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Republic. (Art. 89)

Head of State

English

(1) A person shall be qualified for election as President and shall not be so qualified unless he or she –
(a) is a citizen of Guyana and is Guyanese by birth or parentage as defined in articles 43 and 44;
(b) is residing in Guyana on the date of nomination for election and was continuously residing therein for a period of seven years immediately before that date; and
(c) is otherwise qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.
… (Art. 90)

Vice-President

English

Subject to the provisions of article 185, there shall be an office of Prime Minister and such offices of Vice-President and other offices of Minister of the Government of Guyana as may be established by Parliament or, subject to the provisions of any Act of Parliament, by the President. (Art. 100)

Vice-President

English

(1) The President may appoint Vice-Presidents for the purpose of assisting him in the discharge of his functions.
(2) If he is not otherwise the holder of an office of Vice-President, the person holding the office of Prime Minister shall, by virtue of holding that office, be a Vice-President, and he shall have precedence over any other Vice-President. (Art. 102)

Government

English

Subject to the provisions of article 185, there shall be an office of Prime Minister and such offices of Vice-President and other offices of Minister of the Government of Guyana as may be established by Parliament or, subject to the provisions of any Act of Parliament, by the President. (Art. 100)

Government

English

(1) The President shall appoint an elected member of the National Assembly to be Prime Minister of Guyana: Provided that a person who is not eligible to be elected as President shall not be eligible for appointment as Prime Minister.
… (Art. 101)

Government

English

(1) The Prime Minister and every other Vice-President shall be a Minister of the Government of Guyana.
(2) Subject to the provisions of article 101(1), Vice-Presidents and other Ministers shall be appointed by the President from among persons who are elected members of the National Assembly or subject to subparagraph (vii) of paragraph (3)(a) of article 160 are qualified to be elected as such members.
(3) Not more than four Ministers and two Parliamentary Secretaries shall be appointed by the President from among persons who are qualified to be elected as members of the National Assembly. (Art. 103)

Government

English

(1) There shall be a Cabinet for Guyana, which shall consist of the President, the Prime Minister, the Vice-Presidents, and such other Ministers as may be appointed to it by the President. (Art. 106)

Legislature

English

There shall be a Parliament of Guyana, which shall consist of the President and the National Assembly. (Art. 51)

Legislature

English

(1) Subject to paragraph (2) and to articles 105, 185 and 186, the National Assembly shall consist of such number of members as shall be determined by the Assembly who shall be elected in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and, subject thereto, in accordance with any law made by Parliament in that behalf.
… (Art. 52)

Legislature

English

Subject to article 155 (which relates to allegiance, insanity, and other matters) a person shall be qualified for election as a member of the National Assembly if, and shall not be so qualified unless, he--
(a) is a citizen of Guyana of the age of eighteen years or upwards; and
(b) is able to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, to read the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of the Assembly. (Art. 53)

Legislature

English

(1) Election of members of the National Assembly shall be by secret ballot.
(2) Subject to the provisions of article 160(2), such number of members of the National Assembly as determined by the Assembly, shall be elected in accordance with the system of proportional representation prescribed by article 160(1). (Art. 60)

Legislature

English

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may make provision -
...
(a) (v) for the extraction from the lists and declaration of names of the candidates who have been elected, and for such provision for extraction to take into account the proportion that women form of the electorate; …
(b) (iii) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s list and in all party’s lists taken together;
(iv) for the minimum number or proportion of female candidates on a party’s lists for geographical constituencies taken individually or together;
(v) for the maximum percentage or the number of geographical constituencies a party can contest in which its lists contain no female candidate.
… (Art. 160)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

… Celebrate our cultural and racial diversity and strengthen our unity by eliminating any and every form of discrimination;
Value the special place in our nation of the Indigenous Peoples and recognize their right as citizens to land and security and to their promulgation of policies for their communities; … (Preamble)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

Land is for social use and must go to the tiller. (Art. 18)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

Every citizen has the right to own personal property which includes such assets as dwelling houses and the land on which they stand, farmsteads, tools and equipment, motor vehicles and bank accounts. (Art. 19)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

The right of inheritance is guaranteed. (Art. 20)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this article -
(a) no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect; and
(b) no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(2) In this article the expression ‘discriminatory’ means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their or their parents’ or guardians’ respective descriptions by race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, creed, age, disability, marital status, sex, gender, language, birth, social class, pregnancy, religion, conscience, belief or culture whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which other persons of the same or another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not afforded to other persons of the same or another such description.
(3) Paragraph (1)(a) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision –

(b) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 149)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
(2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Art. 140)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment.
… (Art. 141)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) The preceding two articles4  apply to any benefits that are or may become payable under any law providing for the grant of pensions, compensation, gratuities or other like allowances to persons in respect of their service as public officers or to the widows, children, dependants or personal representatives of such persons in respect of such service.
… (Art. 215)

Status of the Constitution

English

The Constitution is the supreme law of Guyana and, if any other law is inconsistent with it, that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Art. 8)

Status of International Law

English

(2) In the interpretation of the fundamental rights provisions in this Constitution a court shall pay due regard to international law, international conventions, covenants and charters bearing on human rights. (Art. 39)

Status of International Law

English

(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (6), every person, as contemplated by the respective international treaties set out in the Fourth Schedule to which Guyana has acceded is entitled to the human rights enshrined in the said international treaties, and such rights shall be respected and upheld by the executive, legislature judiciary and all organs and agencies of Government and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons and shall be enforceable in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
(2) The rights referred to in paragraph (1) do not include any fundamental right under this Constitution.
(3) The State shall, having regard to the socio-cultural level of development of the society, take reasonable legislative and other measures within its available resources to achieve the progressive realisation of the rights provided for in paragraph (1).
(4) If any person alleges that any of the rights referred to in paragraph (1), has been, is being or is about to be contravened in relation to him or her, then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply to the Human Rights Commission in such manner as the Commission may prescribe, for redress.
(5) Nothing contained in this article shall be construed so as to abrogate any human right, not enumerated herein, which a person had at the time of the commencement of this Article.
(6) The State may divest itself or otherwise limit the Fourth Schedule extent of its obligation under any of the treaties listed in the Fourth Schedule, provided that two thirds of the elected members of the National Assembly have voted in favour of such divestment or limitation. (Art. 154A)

Status of International Law

English

Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Convention Against Torture and Other Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women. (Fourth Schedule, Conventions)5

Religious Law

English

Guyana is an indivisible, secular, democratic sovereign state in the course of transition from capitalism to socialism and shall be known as the Co-operative Republic of Guyana. (Art. 1)

1

Links to all sites last visited 2 March 2016

2

Chapter II on Principles and Bases of the Political, Economic and Social System.

3

Chapter II on Principles and Bases of the Political, Economic and Social System.

4

Refer to Art. 213 on Protection of Pension Rights and Art. 214 on Power of Commissions in relation to pensions, and other matters.

5

For the context of this provision, refer to Art. 154A.