On Saturday, 12 January 2013, Justice Hassan Jallow, a prominent Gambian lawyer and jurist launched his book entitled 'Journey for Justice' at the Paradise Suites Hotel.
A former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Jallow has served as the prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since 2003. He was also appointed the Prosecutor of the Mechanism by the UN Security Council on 1 March 2012 for a term of four years. Prosecutor Jallow also continues as the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
In attendance were the Chief Justice, the current Attorney General and Minister of Justice, judges, legal practitioners, former associates of the PPP government, relatives and so on.
The occasion was chaired by Mr. Pa Tambedou, who spoke extensively about the Author's monumental work and shed a little light on his biography; while the opening speech was done by Dr. Tijan Jallow who expressed his profound gratitude to welcome the members of the high table and the invited guests, for sacrificing their invaluable time to witness the launch of the book entitled 'Journey for Justice'. He also used the occasion to thank the Author and his family. Dr Jallow further extolled the Author, by asserting that he is a luminary legal practitioner and on the side of the family he is a father, uncle, brother and on the other hand he is a civil servant who represents everyone. Therefore, it's not surprising to take a great length to read and understand the book, because there are very vital issues dealt with ranging from economic, political and legal aspects that were diligently and professionally treated. Dr Jallow concluded by further extolling the work of the luminary legal practitioner for authoring such an important book, and for representing the Gambia in the international community.
After these opening remarks, Mr. Gaye, a senior member of the bar, asserted that the Author is an eminent Gambian, an eminent African and an eminent legal luminary who above all is very qualified. He added that the book is not only for lawyers but a good book like any other good book has something within its covers, due to the research, and its meticulousness. He also adumbrated that they will have the benefit of knowing certain things that have never been to the public domain. To illustrate Mr Jallow's sharpness as a lawyer, Mr. Gaye narrated his experience with Mr Jallow, citing examples of cases when he (Mr Gaye) sat as magistrate and counsel for his clients while Mr Jallow represented the state.
In conclusion, he stated that 'Journey for Justice' is a requested book for every Gambian. Finally Mr. Gaye congratulated the Author for his assiduous and significant contributions towards the Gambia and the world at large.
Alhaji Omar Sey on his part joined the previous speakers by extolling the Author. He also stated that, he knew the family of the Author and his background and said nobody can come from that family without the principles of ethics, respect, and learning. Mr. Sey also joined Mr. Gaye to reiterate that he would have been very upset, if he was not invited. Mr. Sey further called on the people and the Government to read the book, because there is a lot of misconceptions in the Gambia. He also stated that they did what they did because, it was all they had, but they did it with honesty. He also said that he is of the view that before people analyze or criticize, they need to understand the contents of the book and get a better understanding of it. He also added that no one tries to be perfect but goes near it. He also went on to say that the former President Jawara was tied to human right. And in all the other fora they attended the former president and Gambians were given the chance to lead the discussions on Human rights, because of its excellent records. Mr. Sey also urged the people to get the book and try to be au fait with their legal rights.
Mr. Alhaji Mamour Jagne on his part, asserted that the book is for posterity and humankind, he also added that in Economics one always talks about the effects and cited an example if one constructs a road then their would be the effects of environment. And in the case of the book it's the human effects. He added that he learnt a lot about the passage that deals with the family. Amongst the things he learnt is that their parents did a lot for them, so let them emulate their parents and contribute significant towards helping mankind, because they had people who died for the sake of religion. And he further praised the Author's maternal and paternal parents for their sacrifice for mankind and the Islamic religion in particular. Mr. Jagne concluded by confirming and recommending the book to all and sundry and urged everyone to get a copy.
Mr. Kejaw Banja spoke on behalf of the people of Bansang and its satellite villages. He gave an overview of the historical back ground of the Author's family, by postulating that his father Abubacarr Jallow came from Futa Jallon and settled in Bansang 70 years ago at a time people when knew very little about the village. A mosque was built and he was made the Imam, that's how the author settled in Bansang. Mr. Banja also added that Sheikh Abubacarr of Bansang dedicated the 62 years of his life to teaching and writing books on Islam and Sufism in particular. He also founded a "Hadra" which is marked by the recitation of the Quran, singing religious songs, and praising God and the following morning students who have completed the study and translation of the Quran will be graduated. He also praised the Author for the job and labelled him as one of the greatest sons of Bansang. And finally concluded by praising the Author for his thoughtfulness and insight. And above all wished him the best in his career for the pursuit of justice. While Mr. Alhaji Sulayman Fye who also voiced his gratitude to the organisers and the Author. He also stated that he has been part of the "Hadra" for over forty years while he was a divisional head in the Central River Region, and very active member. And he asserted that he is fully aware of the Author's unflinching support and service. Mr. Fye also posited that he was flabbergasted by the Author's ability to write the book in the Gambia, due to the economic, social, political and cultural constraints. He added that it's really a daunting and an arduous task. He therefore congratulated the Author for being committed to the consolidation of his father's legacy. And he informed the audience that Sheikh Abubacarr Jallow authored (17) seventeen books about Islam, particularly on Sufism. And described the book 'Journey for Justice' as undoubtedly a significant step. He noted that the book touches on extremely important issues which he participated in actively. He also added that apart from crystallizing the political landscape, it also points out an in-depth analysis of the attempted coup and the 1994 coup d'état. He further went on to say that in a nutshell the book provides an excellent text for researchers, students and everyone else.
He summed up by saying that the book is user friendly, and it's a source for knowledge enrichment. He ended up by asserting that the Author has contributed significantly towards the frontiers of knowledge.
Mr. Wally Ndow the launcher of the book said he is deeply honoured to be part of the book launch, because it narrates a journey for justice. However, the book narrates their trajectory to the people and relates the periods of different encounters, because the Author has different encounters from an African, traditional background and even a western encounter in the city, where he charged his spiritual batteries. And he keeps reminding himself of his bond, history, and culture which shaped him into a luminary and a genius personality. He further reiterated the praises and commendations showered on the Author by the previous speakers for a job well-done.
Finally the Author Mr. Sheikh Hassan B. Jallow, a former justice of the supreme court of The Gambia, spoke at length by extending his profound gratitude to his friends, relatives, and colleagues from all walks of life who in one way or the made the book a success. He gave an insight into the book which we will publish in a subsequent edition.
Ms Fatou Bensouda, ICC prosecutor and Mr Cherno Jallow, Attorney General of British Virgin Islands, both expressed gratitude through video link to Mr Hassan Jallow. They described him as their mentor and brother while they were working at the Attorney General's Chambers.