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Sunday, July 21, 2024
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The Judicial Officers Remuneration Bill

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At the National Assembly these days, there is a bill called Judicial Officers Remuneration Bill which proposes to increase the salaries and other allowances for them. The Bill also proposes to improve the condition of services of judicial officers. According to the government of the Gambia, the idea is to make the sector more attractive so that it can attract more qualified Gambians so as to fill the gaps in the judiciary. The need for this has been felt for long but has become more acute.

However, the bill has attracted a lot of criticism from a large section of the society. Many citizens are complaining that the economic condition of the country is such that it is not prudent to make such huge increases to the salaries and allowances of such a large sector. In fact, there is a section of society who wish to seek a permit in order to protest to manifest their disagreement to the said bill.

Perhaps inspired by events in Kenya where the outcry of citizens caused the president to back down from a proposed bill, some of these citizens wish to show their dissatisfaction over this bill. Opinions are divided as there are those who think that this bill will make it easier for the judiciary to recruit more staff in order for them to deliver justice without delay. They quote various jurisdictions where the salaries and allowances of judicial officers is much higher.

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It is however important to keep the economic situation in mind so that the country will not overburden itself just because other countries are do this or that. The saying ‘bite what you can chew’ comes to mind here. The National Assembly is therefore urged to look critically into this Bill and do what is best for the country.

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