By Aisha Tamba
As part of the support for judicial reform, stakeholders in the judicial sector yesterday commenced a two-day conference for the implementation of a five-year judiciary strategic plan for the first time in the country.
The 1.2 billion dalasis 2021-2025 plan entails eight strategic goals aimed at enabling the rule of law and enriching judicial independence.
They are; to strengthen the independence and autonomy of the judiciary; upgrade and expand its physical infrastructure; restructure and strengthen organisational and institutional capacity; improve the efficiency of the court processes and service delivery and develop the human resources capacity.
Speaking at the event, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dawda Jallow said while the amount might sound huge, the strategic plan has a positive impact on the daily lives of citizens who approach the courts for respite.
“The speedy resolution of commercial matters breeds healthier economy and a more attractive investment climate while the speedy and efficient prosecution of cases ensures the deterrence of crime and the maintenance of public order and tranquility,” Minister Jallow said.
“As a government, it is our primary responsibility to ensure that all organs of government are sufficiently resourced to accomplish their mandate and even though there is a clear delineation of powers between the executive and judiciary, we share a common vision and are partners in our strive to realise The Gambia we all aspire for. Accordingly, my government is fully committed to making available much-needed material resources to the judiciary over the next four years and beyond. Understandably, this strategic plan is bold and ambitious and despite our unwavering commitment, there will remain a gap between our aspirations and our funding needs,” the AG said.
The Chief Justice, Hassan B Jallow said shortage of courtroom space and judges, lack of equipment, the significant increase in case workload of the courts all continue to pose serious challenges to the efficient operation of the courts and the speedy disposal cases.
“We believe that effort to address these continuous challenges can be more effectively undertaken in a systematic and well-coordinated manner through the umbrella of the plan.
“The judiciary strategic plan 2021-2025 provides us with the road map and framework for enhancing the capacity of the judiciary to deliver quality justice and enable the institution to discharge its role as a key player in contributing to securing good governance in The Gambia,” he said.