The Chief Justice Hon. Hassan B. Jallow has established a Sentencing Council for The Gambia, according to a recent statement by his office.
The council was established by His Lordship by order of 26th May 2021, issued under section 143 (1) of the 1997 Constitution, the statement added.
“The council’s mandate is to develop guidelines on sentencing to be issued by the Chief Justice for the use of Courts in criminal matters. Once the guidelines are issued, the council is also responsible for monitoring their use and their effectiveness.
“It is expected that the sentencing guidelines will contribute to promoting consistency and transparency in sentencing by the courts, enhancing the understanding of the purposes of the principles of sentencing and provide the courts with a structured approach that will assist them to administer just and proportionate sentences which will promote public confidence in the criminal justice process,” the statement read.
It informed that the Council comprised of a justice of the Supreme Court as chairperson, a justice of the Gambia Court of Appeal as vice-chairperson, two justice of the High Court, the judicial Secretary, the Head of the judiciary Training Institute, the master and Registrar of the High Court, the Chief Magistrate and two principal magistrates; and held its inaugural meeting on 9th June 2021.
In the discharge of its functions, the council is required to hold consultations with the public and other stakeholders in the criminal justice process, submit recommendations with respect to sentencing to the Chief Justice, prepare and submit to the chief justice an annual report of its activities, it concluded.