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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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NALA demands independent budget to meet operations

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By Olimatou Coker

Fatou Baldeh, vice chair of the National Agency for Legal Aid, has called on government to show its commitment to providing access to justice to the indigenous population by providing the agency with a much more independent budget which was finally approved by the National Assembly in December 2023.

She said the agency desperately needs the budget if it is to effectively carry out its mandate. NALA provides legal services to accused persons who face capital offense charges. “They need to be available for criminal cases as well as civil cases and it is no secret that the agency is going through rough times with enormous constraints”, she said.

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Madam Bah made these remarks yesterday during a two-day multi-stakeholder roundtable conference on legal aid held at the Sir Dawda Jawara Conference Center.

The forum is organized with the support of the American Bar Association through its ‘Promoting Rights and Justice in The Gambia Activity (PR), a USAID-funded project. It will discuss how legal aid providers can improve access to legal services.

Madame Bah continued by appealing to the stakeholders to stick with NALA and assured them that the board is doing its utmost and will not relent until it gets the working conditions it deserves to competently carry out its duties.

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This conference aims to conduct an assessment of the current status of access to justice in The Gambia.  

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