Judiciary announces court sittings on Saturdays
Friday, July 10, 2009
The Judiciary, in its drive to expedite the hearing of civil and criminal cases, as well as to address the problems of backlog and delays in the proceeding of court cases, has decided to have court sittings on Saturdays, with immediate effect, a press release from the Office of the Chief Justice, signed by Haruna Jaiteh, the Judicial Secretary has revealed.
Below we reproduce the full text of the release.
With effect from 18th July 2009, Law Courts will sit on Saturdays. The objective of the scheme is to expedite the hearing of civil and criminal cases, as part of current strategies to address the problems of backlog and delays in the system.
The scheme will be implemented initially at Magistrates Courts in Banjul, Kanifing, Bundung and Brikama. The High Court will embrace the scheme when it resumes after the summer vacation in October 2009. The cases covered by the scheme include those that involve lay litigants who are not represented by lawyers and non-contentious issues. No cases scheduled under the scheme will be adjourned and the parties coming to the Saturday sittings must be ready to proceed with their cases to conclusion.
His Lordship, the Hon Chief Justice, having consulted the bar and stakeholders, has directed the courts concerned to draw up lists of all such cases and notify the parties involved for the programme to start in earnest. Lay litigants with cases pending in these courts, not represented by lawyers and interested in pursuing their cases under the scheme are hereby being requested to liaise with courts concerned for all necessary steps to be taken.
The move is a response to the huge build up of backlog of cases and difficulties being experienced by unrepresented litigants in the courts where priority has always been given to cases involving lawyers or represented litigants.
The Hon. Chief Justice, therefore, solicits the cooperation of all concerned in the interest of justice and for the benefit of all litigants to ensure that justice is dispensed and administered speedily in a cost-effective manner
Author: Press Release