By: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh
The British High Commissioner, David Belgrove on Wednesday 13th October, 2021 handed over four compendiums of law books to the Gambia’s Chief Justice, Honourable Hassan Bubacar Jallow.
The handing over ceremony was held at his lordship’s office in the high court in Banjul.
The compendium given is a compilation of the election laws, practices and cases of selected commonwealth countries. The ceremony took place to strengthen bilateral ties between the two sister countries and the judiciaries in particular.
Speaking at the program, David Belgrove said there has been a long tradition of links between the United Kingdom (UK) and the Gambia and the compendium, he said is a small contribution to further strengthen the ties.
Mr. Belgrove said they will continue to support the Gambian judiciary and support the excellent relationship between the two judiciaries as he looks forward to seeing changes in the judiciary system.
Chief Justice Jallow acknowledged the efforts of the high commission in helping the Gambia’s judiciary and presenting the compendium on commonwealth judicial decisions on electoral petitions, describing it as ‘a big token’.
He said the compendium will be useful to them and as the presidential election is approaching, they will use it to enhance themselves, saying the usual outcome of elections is the hearing of petitions by the courts after elections. He however added that they are used to it in their jurisdiction and he went to harp on the long jurisprudence by the courts on how to deal with election petitions.
“We are also a member of the commonwealth and we are part of that legacy on the common laws. It is the golden thread of the common laws which holds together the tapestry of the commonwealth and we are proud of that,” he said.
Chief Justice Jallow said the compendium will be very helpful and useful for them to know how the commonwealth has been dealing with issues that they are or will be facing when there are election petitions and hoped to look forward to putting the compendium into good use.
Jallow revealed that they are ready for the presidential elections and petitions, and that petitions are determined by the Supreme Court under the law. He said all or any petitions need to be filed within ten days of the declaration of the results and the court has to take a decision and announce the decision within 30 days after the filing of the petition.
“We have a full complement of local judges who can hear these cases. We have had experience in dealing with petitions and now we will have the experience of the other commonwealth jurisdiction through this compendium in dealing with election petitions in our own country and we are ready to deal with any matters that may come up” Chief Justice Jallow said.