Gambia has pegged the retirement age for judges in its Supreme Court to 75 from 65 as the new government jumpstarts constitutional reforms.
Many of the judges in the Gambia are from other Commonwealth Nations, especially Nigeria, who are accused by activists of being mercenary judges for ex-autocratic ruler Yahya Jammeh.
The age restriction on judges has been used to prevent Gambians from sitting in the Supreme Court. The former and new governments say there are many cases still pending in court because there are no enough judges to take them.
“Today, there are many cases at the Supreme Court awaiting to be determined upon. This has not been possible because we do not have Gambians to take up positions in the Supreme Court and other superior courts,” said Mai Ahmad Fatty, Gambia’s Interior Minister.
Former UN Prosecutor Hassan B. Jallow became the second Gambian to Chief Justice of the West African nation and the first to swear in a president.
Gambia’s parliament also scrapped out the age restriction for those seeking the presidency and vice presidency, ending the controversy surrounding President Adama Barrow’s veep pick, Fatoumata Tambajang.