By Tabora Bojang
Chief Justice Hassan B Jallow said there cannot be any effective and functioning democracy in the absence of efficient independent judicial system in the country.
Speaking at a handing over ceremony of donated items from the Turkish International Cooperation Agency TIKA to the Supreme Court of The Gambia, the Chief justice praised the commitment of the new government to ensuring that the independence of the judiciary is safeguarded.
CJ Jallow said: “The Supreme Court is the final court and we have been trying to re-establish it and ensure that its operations are carried out efficiently. The democracy cannot work without an efficient, independent judicial system.
“Independence is something that the government has committed itself to, and the judiciary is committed to ensuring that as well and we have to work on the efficiency side also by providing the necessary equipment, the necessary facilities to make sure that the cases can go on well.”
According to him, one of the constraints the court faces is lack of equipment.
“We are confident that what you given us today will help us a great deal at the level of the Supreme Court,” he told the donators.
The donated items includes computers, printers, photocopying machines and other office equipment, which were all handed over to him.
He further thanked the Turkish government and its Technical Assistance Agency on behalf of the Judiciary, government and people of The Gambia, ‘for the generous gift.’
In response, the Turkish Ambassador to The Gambia Ismail Sefa Yuceer, predicts the two countries will enjoy further cooperation in the field of justice as the Turkish Justice Academy will invite The Gambia’s judicial representatives to Turkey to have training programs before the end of the year.
“We support the idea of democracy and for the institutionalisation and the maturity of the democracy justice has a very special place because if you do not have justice in any society you cannot have democracy,” the ambassador said.’
“So, therefore, the judiciary has a high responsibility especially in this transition period in order to serve the equitable understanding of all the people.”
The Supreme Court of The Gambia commenced sitting last Monday, April 30th and the sessions will close on Friday, May 11th 2018 with a quorum of seven Judges presided over by the Chief Justice and six other Judges.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Turkish Technical Agency also gives 60 military flags to the Gambia Armed Forces which were received by the Chief of defense staff of the GAF Masaneh Kinteh.