President Yahya Jammeh has this week appointed six new justices to The Gambia’s Special Criminal Court, judicial sources confirmed.
The judges are expected to serve in Special Courts across the country to reduce the cost of access to justice and prevent delays.
President Yahya Jammeh in 2014 said he is disturbed by the backlog of cases that has left many remanded and ask the courts to tell his office what needs to be done to have justice delivered efficiently.
The Gambia’s Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle said the introduction of the Special Courts is part of the judiciary’s re-organization program.
The justices will be serving in anti-narcotics, children, consumer protection, industrial tribunal, rent tribunal and cadi courts in Brikama, Banjul, Kanifing, Bundung, and Sibanor.
The Gambia’s judiciary has been accused of passing judgments in favor of the government. The executive interferes with judicial proceedings, especially politically motivated ones. Judges who failed to rule in favor of the government often find themselves arrested and subsequently fired from the bench.
Foreign judges in the judiciary have been described by rights campaigns as “mercenaries,” with the executive always “acting as if they are above the law.”
Government has not released the names, qualifications and other details of the new judges yet.