Partisans of Gambian political prisoners protest at the Supreme Court for trial in Banjul, Gambia December 5, 2016. REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon

Barrow: no compromise on respecting the rule of law

The Gambia’s outgoing government has been accused of subverting the rule of law and interfering with the work of the judiciary.

The International Bar Association says the Gambia’s judicial system in suffers from neglect, under-investment, and a severe lack of
resources and infrastructure, resulting from a general deprioritization of its importance.

Gambians find it difficult to get bail for bailable offenses and detainees are not treated humanely, according to rights groups.

Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow said Thursday that the government will protect its citizens. He has vowed that his administration will not compromise the rule of law.

“There will be rule of law in The Gambia. There will be no compromise when it comes to the respect for the rule of law and justice. My administration will protect the rights and liberties of all Gambians,” Barrow said.

President Jammeh has hired and firing judges at his will. Judges that ruled against the state are subjected to arrest. Jammeh’s government has been accused of giving contracts to foreign judges who will do their bidding and jail opposition activists.

There is high expectation that the new government will strengthen the judiciary by diversifying the nominating authority for members of the judicial service commission, and by conducting its procedures for the identification of candidates for judicial office in a transparent manner.

The new government said that all judicial appointments and removals, including those of contract judges, will be subject to the proper constitutional procedure.

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