Gambia: The Courts Are the Bastion of Justice and Stability

Where there is no justice there is no peace. Peace comes when one's rights as a human being are fully respected and protected. Many cases are now before the courts. Wherever there are disputes people are advised not to take the law into their own hands. They are advised to respect the law and pursue the course of justice. This puts the courts at the forefront of the institutions that the public turns to if anyone is aggrieved. A heavy burden therefore lies in the head of those who are given the responsibility of presiding over the affairs of the accused and civil litigants.

This requires the establishment of independent and impartial tribunals whose performance must be closely monitored by the public. These tribunals should be administered by magistrates, judges and other adjudicators who would aim to deliver justice without fear or favour, affection or ill will.

Foroyaa therefore is convinced that fair hearing and trial could contribute to the peace and stability in the country. The Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, the Land Commission are all expected to reduce the burden on the courts.

Alternatives to long and winding court cases are created and substantial amount of money has been invested to ensure speedy justice so that we can put the past behind us and start afresh to build an open society where fundamental rights and freedoms are respected and protected.

Foroyaa is closely monitoring. The cases that are now being referred back to the courts even the NIA 9 (or 9 - 2) is still with us. How long will it take to address numerous human rights violations in the courts? The future will tell.

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