For long, the Gambian High Court and Court of Appeal have relied heavily on foreign judges. There weren’t enough Gambian judges to handle these positions. Some would argue that we lacked the necessary expertise while some may argue that this was for political reasons. Well whichever of the arguments holds true, it will soon be water under the bridge.
An independent judiciary is certainly among the cornerstones of a vibrant democracy. The judiciary is a crucial part of the arms of government. As such, it is important to have a judiciary that is competent and independent. The three arms of government are supposed to hold each other to account and thus, an independent judiciary will perform that role effectively.
Recently President Adama Barrow has sworn-in six new Gambian judges. This will certainly go a long way in the indigenization of our judiciary. The time has come for Gambian judges to proudly sit on our courts and expertly and patriotically perform the duty of dispensing justice without fear or favour.
The Chief Justice Mr Hassan B Jallow had said when he was appointed that the indigenization of the judiciary will be one of his top priorities. Now we have seen that he has done just that. With efforts like this, the democratic journey of the Gambia has picked up a new pace.
Bravo Mr President!