Gambian President Adama Barrow who has vowed to conduct widespread democratic reforms in his country has sworn in former UN Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia as his Chief Justice.
Hassan B. Jallow, second Gambian national to have been appointed chief justice since independence, has been described by justice minister Sheriff Tambedou as “a man of impeccable character and integrity and of international scholarly repute.”
Barrow and Jallow pledged to engage in Institutional and legal reforms with the Gambian leader urging the new chief justice “to work hard for us to achieve our goal as a government and leave a legacy of sustained institutions, laws and procedures.”
Barrow has a dream: to transform The Gambia into a fully fledge democracy and facilitate social, economic and political development for its people.
Attorney General Tambadou was also a UN Prosecutor. He had worked with Mr. Jallow in the past. Their appointment marks the new beginning for judiciary independence in this country and the first step toward restoring public confidence in the Gambia’s justice system.
Jallow who is also Gambia’s longest serving justice minister under its first President Jawara assured independence of the judiciary under his watch.
“The president has reiterated his commitment to the independence of the judiciary. This declared commitment of the president and his government to maintain the independence of the judiciary is very reassuring and an excellent starting point for the new Chief Justice,” Jallow said.
Jallow believes that an independent judiciary delivering impartial, effective and visibly expeditious justice is indispensable for the maintenance of the rule of law and without adherence to the rule of law, no community can attain sustained peace and prosperity.
Jammeh who refused to step down after his election defeat until he was forced out by regional forces, was accused of human rights abuses including killings and enforced disappearances.
His regime has been accused of compromising the rule of law and not respecting the orders of the courts.
Judges are usually appointed by the executive and those that rule against the state risk being fired and arrested, a trend Barrow promised to change.
Thus, Attorney General Tambadou assured the chief justice that the “government will strongly encourage strict compliance and enforcement without reservation decisions rendered by our justice system for or against the government.”