The schools are The Gambia Senior Secondary School (Gambia High), St. Therese’s Upper Basic School, Reverend JC Faye, Grace Bilingual School and St. Peter’s Senior Secondary School.
B.S Touray, lead counsel, Counsel B. Badgie, Counsel L. L. Darboe and Counsel I. Jallow yesterday represented the students (plaintiffs), while Counsel Andross, Counsel R. Y. Mendy and Counsel Binga D. represented the respondents. Counsel M. B. Sowe also appeared on behalf of the state.
The case opened with a tough beginning, as Counsel Andross objected to Borry S. Touray’s appearance for the plaintiff, saying that his name is not on record as per the list of counsels on appearing for the plaintiffs. She cited Section 44 of the Legal Practitioners Act 2016 as the basis for her argument
The counsel argued that appearance on behalf of the plaintiffs could only be made by those whose names were on record.
Countering the argument of Counsel Andross, Counsel Borry S. Touray told the court that there is nothing that denies the opportunity to represent the plaintiffs. He also emphasised that the plaintiffs have a right to choose him or whoever they like as their counsel.
Counsel B.S. Touray said the argument by his colleague “lacks any proper legal foundation.”
Again, Counsel Andross said that they have two counsels on record to appear for the plaintiffs.
She added she was not denying the plaintiffs of their rights to an additional counsel but argued that there are procedures and processes guiding the legal profession, and that Counsel Borry S. Touray knows how to correct that. Therefore, it was her submission that Counsel B.S. Touray could not be heard before the court as representative of the plaintiff unless that is corrected.
Counsel B.S. Touray, in another counter, stated that the plaintiffs sought the services of Crown Chambers, where he is from and, therefore, could appear for the plaintiffs. He told the court that he led the preparation of the processes before court.
In his ruling, Justice Jaiteh ruled against Counsel Andross, saying that not only Borry S. Touray but any counsel from the Crown Chambers could represent the plaintiffs.
“Therefore, Section 44 of the Legal Practitioners Act is not applicable in this matter,” the High Court Judge ruled.
Accordingly, the matter has been pushed to 20 June at 10 a.m. for continuance.