Saturday, April 1

Most Civil Matters Emanate from West Coast Region, Says Chief Justice

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By Mama A. Touray

Hon. Chief Hassan B. Jallow, Chief Justice of the Gambia has stated that Brikama deserves a better court complex as most civil matters emanate from the region, noting this in its efforts to expand and upgrade physical infrastructure to ensure greater access to justice.

He made these remarks recently at a site allocated to the judiciary by the Governor of the West coast region Ousman Bojang for the construction of a High Court, Magistrate Court, Cadi Court, and other facilities and if possible the district tribunal courts, administrative facilities for archiving as well.

“This region certainly deserves a complex better than what it has at the moment, it is not only the largest region in the country in terms of population but in terms of our judicial jurisdiction it is also the largest as most of our cases emanate from this region, especially civil matters,” he said.

He noted that the court to be built will not be a complex like others apart from Banjul, it will be the most comprehensive complex.

“This whole project is part of the commitment of President Adama Barrow’s government and the judiciary to strengthen the rule of law by ensuring that there is effective access to justice by bringing courts to the community so that people can access the courts without undue difficulty, that’s why we have the court complex in Bundung and we are developing another one here in Brikama and the funding for this project is pretty assured so we looking forward the early commencement of the work,” he said,

Mr. Ousman Bojang, Governor of the West Coast Region said President Adama Barrow’s government is doing everything to promote an independent judiciary which he said can only be achieved when accessible and that is the role of the judiciary.

For his part, Sheriffo Sonko, Chairman of Brikama Area Council, said the construction of a court complex in the West Coast Region will no doubt contribute to bringing justice to the doorsteps of the citizens most importantly the poor and the needy without having to pay fair to access justice.

“ Where there is no access to justice, where citizens especially the marginalized groups fear the system and see it as an ailment and do not access it, where the justice system is finally inaccessible due to distance or where individuals do not have lawyers or where there is weak justice there the stems are described as undemocratic,” he pointed out.

He said now that the people of the West Coast Region have fulfilled their side of the bargain, he implores the Chief Justice and the entire judiciary to speed up the construction of the new court complex.