In an exclusive interview with The Standard on the sidelines of the biennial conference of chiefs in Jarra Soma, he posited: “I’m trying my best to see that it becomes the best judiciary and it’s also my desire to see that we make this place the best in terms of justice dispensation. We’ve recently started codifying customary laws of The Gambia which is important because it means something which is fixed. These laws are in the minds of the traditional chiefs and it’s good to bring them in print shape and collecting every fragment so that everybody knows what the law is and that these laws are not lost when the chiefs finally pass away. Without codification, law is just in a liquid state and so we’re lucky that they [the chiefs] are alive and helping but we have to foresee posterity and since a long time, there’s been a desire to codify and work has started.
“Government has seen the need for polishing, and training. I established the institute of judicial training and the courses will be equally benefiting from that and working on group by group and bringing them over. We’ve also requested local chiefs to make us know their own practice and show us proof on why we should follow that.”
The Pakistani legal luminary stated that there is need to train local chiefs because they preside over the district tribunals. He said there must be a procedure to ensure right and sensible judgments so that people will see them as genuine.
“We want to show government our performance as a judiciary and not to just talk. The thing should speak for itself and Gambians want people to get justice and this should be without difficulty. We have to work because we know the goal and we have to work under the law which is the constitution. The Gambia has a very good constitution because it’s very well divided and so we don’t have any trouble because of that distribution. The Bar is also doing very well; we had more practitioners getting licences. By adding more people, this will enable the country to have its own system.
“The point is that the judiciary has to work very hard because no system can exist without good justice and people should not get frustrated. I’m endevouring towards making this country’s judiciary the best but it’s not going to be an easy job and it will take time.”
By Lamin Njie]]>