The acting Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of The Gambia has affirmed that the Faculty remains vital to the growth of the legal profession in The Gambia.
Johannes Buabeng-Baidoo was speaking on Monday during a press conference on the theme: “Building partnerships to advance legal education in The Gambia”.
The press conference was organised by the Faculty of Law of the University of The Gambia through the European Union Technical Assistance for Access to Justice and Legal Education in The Gambia.
The press conference according to Buabeng-Baidoo provides an opportunity to highlight various benefits that the University of The Gambia Faculty of Law (UTGFL) has derived from its partnership with the European Union (EU).
He informed that the Faculty of Law is the premier Law Faculty in The Gambia as it was established in 2007. Before 2007, he said, the dream of many young aspiring legal practitioners in the country remained just that, an expensive dream that was out of reach for the majority of Gambians.
“Thanks to the vision of the Government of The Gambia, the hard work and resilience of our people, today legal education is available and accessible to average families in The Gambia,” he added.
He maintained that under the aegis of the EU’s Technical Assistance for Access to Justice and Legal Education in The Gambia project, the Faculty of Law has received support in several ways, primarily through lecture exchange programmes and curriculum development.
This exchange programme, he went on, is designed to build the institutional and professional capacity of the staff by allowing them to benchmark lessons from South Africa and the UK.
The Team Leader of European Union Access to Justice Project in The Gambia, Shelley Liberto told journalists that the EU-funded Access to Justice and Legal Education Project has funded contracts with the University of Pretoria in South Africa and Lancaster University in UK to participate in an exchange programme in technical assistance to the University of The Gambia Faculty of Law. “The objective of the exchange programme is to augment the capacity of Law lecturers of the UTG by exposing them to new curricula, teaching techniques and learning environments that they may adopt in their experiences”.
Liberto told journalists that in both Pretoria and Lancaster Universities, The Gambian visiting lecturers would enjoy the status of local adjunct professors and among things like observing and teaching law courses in those locations. “They will also participate in the routine administrative activities of law professors in the hope that they will learn new administrative techniques to apply back home in The Gambia, “he said.
According to him, UTGFL Exchange Programme is only one of several programmes of the EU-funded Access to Justice and Legal Education Project, which is contributing 4.5 million Euro (equivalent to over GMD 200 million) to justice reforms in The Gambia.
“It is part of the wider EU-funded Government Programme of 10 million Euro (equivalent to over GMD 446 million) which includes, Access to Justice and Legal Education, Journalism and the media and public financial management,” Liberto stated.
by Lamin B. Darboe