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AG says judicial officers bill not automatically increasing salaries

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In a statement Monday night, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice said the judicial officers bill currently before the National Assembly is not seeking to automatically increase salaries for the judicial officers as it claimed was reported by The Standard.

The ministry said instead, the bill seeks to improve the conditions of service for the judiciary and provide them with pensions scheme. It said The Standard report is in accurate and misleading.

However, in his own signed statement accompanying the bill, the minister of justice Dawda Jallow, said the following: “This bill seeks to address the issue of inadequate remuneration of judges in the Gambia which fails to attract experienced lawyers to the bench from private practice.”

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He further said: “This bills aims to rectify the disparity in renumeration between The Gambia and comparable jurisdictions to ensure that judicial officers are fairly compensated for their service.”

The Standard’s reply: We urge every reader to judge whether going by the minister’s own statement, is the bill not seeking to increase the remuneration of judicial officers? Again, we never mentioned in that article that the bill, once passed, will result in automatic increment as erroneously claimed by the Ministry.

Like every other Gambian, we very much want our judges to be well-paid so that Gambians would be inspired to take jobs in the judiciary but that should not stop us from doing our job as the media, to inform the public what is contained in the bill and what it entails.

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