Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Judiciary Building Credibility

As delay in Proceedings Will Result to Public Lost of Confidence
VOL:1 ISSN:2The Gambian judiciary recently held a day sensitisation on the amendment of the High Court Rules 2009. The amended rules, which had been published in The Gambia Gazette is meant to speed up court cases in their efforts towards maintaining a vibrant justice delivery system.
In as much as this aim is not achieved it is believed that people, especially those whose cases in the High Court has been dragging over the years will loose credibility in the country’s justice delivery services, thus a sign that justice remains partly unfulfilled.
In an introduction of the new rules on 5th November, 2009 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, the Chief Justice of The Gambia, Emmanuel Agim, said that the rationale behind the drafting of the new rules is to reduce the backlog of cases at the High Court and to speed up trials, citing that indeed some cases have been dragging on for a decade or more.
“The 1997 Constitution calls for speedy trials in the justice delivery services,” he said.
Most of the cases piling up at the court are usually land cases, he said, adding that some of which can even be settled out of court (amicably).
However, the High Court (Amendment) Rules, 2009 were subjected to a review and criticism in the second session of the programme, and one can only imagine how much scrutiny the Rules most have went through in the midst of legal practitioners, those that supposed to defend and uphold the country’s main legal document, the Constitution.
In this final part, we continue to look at the Amended Rules, the criticisms, suggestions and recommendations of legal practitioners. The Commissioner of the African Commission, Mr. Musa Bittaye observed that in respect of where a party is served with is served with an affidavit, sub-rule
16 (4) will not be applicable, that the defendant will not be barred from further time frame to file a defence within the time frame of 14 days.