The offices of the Chief Justice, Attorney General Chambers, The Gambia Bar Association and the Judiciary, have renewed their commitment towards effective and efficient dispensation of justice through provisions of speedy and fair trial of cases in courts in line with the objectives of the country’s development blueprints.
This commitment was made in a meeting at the Office of the Chief Justice, Emmanuel Fagbelne, by state counsel from the offices of the Attorney General Chambers and Ministry of Justice, judges and magistrates from the judiciary and some members of the Bar Association.
The event, viewed as a family meeting, has accorded participants the opportunity to brainstorm on issues affecting the smooth and timely delivery of justice on cases before the courts in line with various legal provisions on dispensation of speedy and fair trial as per section 24 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia.
The meeting further highlighted the establishment of various courts across the country with various cases brought before the said courts, including capital offences, drug related matters, children issues, among others. Such courts includes high courts in Kanifing, Brikama, Mansakonko and Basse, drug courts in Banjul, Kanifing, Bundung, Brikama, Sibanor, Basse, Mansakonko, Kerewan among others.
Speaking at the meeting, CJ Fagbenle said the stakeholders meeting was timely, cognizant of the role of the state counsel and the bar, complementing the constitutional mandate of the judiciary as the third arm of the government, assigned with key functions of justice delivery and other interpretative roles.
He expressed delight over the assurance made by the team in bringing justice to the doorstep of all Gambians and non-Gambians alike, thus achieving a vibrant legal system in the country as desired by all.
The CJ said the rationale behind the opening of courts, especially the High Court, magistrates’ courts, children’s courts and drug courts across the country is meant to provide accessible and affordable justice for all.
‘‘Gone are days when people have to travel all the way from Basse and other far distance just to attend their cases here in Banjul, except for the Supreme Court and The Gambia Court of Appeal cases,’‘ CJ Fagbelene told the Daily Observer.
He added that the move by the judiciary is meant to complement development objectives of the Gambian leader, who places importance on having a more vibrant legal system of the country, through provisions of speedy and fair dispensation of justice.
The CJ therefore, called on people, especially potential litigants to make effective use of the courts within their localities, saying jurisdiction of the court is very important in the determination of cases.
In a separate development, the Chief Justice of The Gambia has confirmed the end of summer vacation of superior courts to the Daily Observer, marking the beginning of the third legal term of the year 2016.
According to him, the summer vacation ended effective 1st October 2016, adding that all courts of The Gambia are operational by hearing and presiding over cases before them.
by Sanna Jawara