By Aji Fatou Faal
Lawmakers at the National Assembly Monday adopted the Constitutional Review
Commission Bill 2017 during the Fourth Session of the 2017 Legislative Year.
Tabling the Bill, Hon. Abubacarr Tambadou, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, having given background on how the constitution came into being, said: “A constitution is the fundamental legal instrument of any country that is designed (for the most part) to ensure appropriate separation of powers in relation to the executive, legislature, and judiciary, define the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens and others, and establish key institutions to aid the administration of good government generally.”
According to him, in order to ensure a proper and comprehensive review of the second Republican Constitution, the Bill proposes the establishment of a Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) made up of prominent Gambians with the appropriate educational qualifications and experience.
He stated that if the Bill is approved, the CRC (upon formal establishment) is expected to consult as widely as possible with the general public of the Gambians at home and abroad as well as professional, political, civic, and similar organizations.
He informed members that the primary responsibility of CRC would be to draft a new Constitution for the Gambia; it would, in addition, prepare a report on the draft Constitution outlining its work and providing a better insight into the CRC’s adoption of specific provisions of the draft Constitution.
Minister Tambadou disclosed that the ultimate objective of the Bill is to create the necessary legal platform for the development of a new well-researched and drafted modern constitution that would serve the Gambia for a considerable period and thus for the current generations and many future generations yet unborn. He then revealed that the hope is that such a constitution would usher in the third Republic for the Gambia.
The National Assembly Members scrutinized the bill thoroughly before adopting it.