Saturday, April 1

Barrow confirms prosecution of torture, disappearance crimes not provided under Gambian law

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The President was speaking during the occasion of the 2023 Official Opening of the Legal Year held at the Law Courts Complex in Banjul.

He further stated that to deliver justice, his government proposed to develop a special judicial framework and create a hybrid court to try perpetrators whose offences amount to international crimes. He added that his government will pursue this in agreement with their obligation under customary international law.

“Over the years, my government took giant strides to uphold good governance, democracy and the rule of law, especially with regard to the separation of powers between the three organs of government. In doing so, we have accomplished a lot towards the establishment of justice and the provision of legal services through the Ministry of Justice,” he said.

“Specifically, my government considers the White Paper on the finding of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) as a major part of our national transitional justice process, and we hold ourselves duty-bound to implementing it in a transparent manner.” 

To achieve this, he explained that his government is working with relevant stakeholders and partners to establish a prosecution system to impartially try the perpetrators of human rights abuses and violations mentioned in the report. 

He continued that the White Paper also contains the Government’s expressed decision to set up a Special Prosecution Office mandated to investigate and prosecute accused persons within its terms of reference.

For his part, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dawda Jallow, said his ministry has over the years been providing indispensable legal services to promoting and protecting the rule of law, justice delivery and good governance in The Gambia.

“Through our various Departments (namely: the Civil Litigation & International Law, Criminal Prosecutions, Curator of Intestate Estates, Registrar General’s Department, Companies Department and Legislative Drafting Department), we have achieved several milestones in the previous legal year.”

He reaffirmed his ministry’s commitment to continue working with key stakeholders such as the Judiciary of The Gambia and the Gambia Bar Association in providing access to justice and always defending the rule of law and respect for human rights.