By Tabora Bojang
The judiciary of The Gambia Tuesday organised a three-day capacity-building training program for Commonwealth Judges and Magistrates.
In collaboration with Commonwealth Magistrates Judges Association, the training seeks to improve capacity of judges in ensuring the independence of the judiciary.
Organisers called its coming timely, since the Judiciary in the past two decades suffered dictatorship, violation of human rights and the rule of law.
It is expected that the training will enable participants to look into various aspects of their works, such as judicial independence, the principles of impartiality, integrity and equality and the principles of competence and diligence.
Dr Karen Brewer, the secretary general of Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association, thanked the Gambia government for joining the association and for being the first country to host the training as a Commonwealth member country.
She postulated that the aim of the association is to ensure quality justice delivery, protection of people’s rights and the independence of the judiciary in its administration and dispensation of justice.
Dr Brewer however, challenged participants to take the training ‘seriously in order to be independent and upright in their conducts and the rightful performance of their duties’.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Aboubacarr Tambadou said it was timely and it would “improve the capacity of the judiciary”.
Minister Tambadou also seized the occasion to thank Gambians who sacrificed time to serve on the bench.
He said: “Effective training will go a long way in improving the capacity of the judiciary and the training will enable the judiciary to move from strength to strength.”
British High Commissioner to The Gambia, Sharon Wardle, described The Gambia’s joining of the Commonwealth as ‘a calling card’ to other countries, which she said will also send a powerful message to the rest of the world.
The top British diplomat opined that the training will mark the beginning of the start of fruitful corporation between the judiciary and the Commonwealth.
Chief Justice, Hassan Jallow, said: “The Gambia is indeed delighted to be back, to have returned to that association of which it has been an ardent member and supporter for most of its existence as a sovereign independent nation. As judiciary continue to improve its independence, it is important to have such a training that gears to improve its efficiency.”