By Oumie Mendy
A supreme court judge Awa Bah, addressing a capacity building training on judicial ethics and strengthening of anti-corruption measures for magistrates, has said that the judiciary should have an uncompromising stand on corruption, adding that the “phenomenon of corruption in the administration of justice” has steadily been rearing its ugly face in most jurisdictions.
“Judiciaries have been perceived to be amongst the most corrupt institutions and there is the dire need to curb such menace because the courts are the last bastion of hope for the populace. However, for such an adopted code to be meaningful and achieve its purpose, it must be widely disseminated and one means of such outreach is by training.
“We are all obligated to uphold our ethical codes of conduct to the highest of standards. Our conduct both in and out of court must be beyond reproach and must repose in the minds of the public confidence in our judicial and other official duties/functions and in the judiciary as a whole,” she noted.
She further stated: “We must uphold the tenets of our calling as judicial officers and must do so with utmost dignity, integrity, independence, honesty, just and fairness, competence and diligence etc. We must hold ourselves accountable for our misconduct or behaviour that may have the tendency to bring disrepute to the sanctity of the judicial office.”
The training, organised by Gambia Participates with funding from International Foundation for Electoral System, was held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Conference Center.
Justice Bah said the curricula for the training were developed over a series of working sessions principally developed based on the Judges’ Supplementary Code of Conduct whilst drawing reference from other relevant legislations and international standards and best practices.
“The curricula shall form part of the curriculum of our judicial training institute and shall be a core in all induction training for newly appointed judicial officers. The adoption of a code of conduct is a crucial aspect of any effective approach to enhancing judicial integrity, independence and accountability, thereby minimising the potential of corruption amongst judicial officers, thus enhancing public confidence in the Judiciary,” Justice Bah said.