The Judiciary of The Gambia on Tuesday 7th February, 2023 convened a conference on the reforms of the Rules of Practice and Procedures of the High Court and the Subordinate Courts. The conference held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center formed part of activities for the commemoration of Legal Year 2023. The event brought together Judges and Magistrates of the Superior and the Subordinate Courts respectively as well as stakeholders in the Justice delivery Sector.
In his opening statement at the conference, His Lordship the Honorable Chief Justice Hassan B Jallow underscored the significance of the conference saying the Rules and Procedures need to be under constant review to keep up with contemporary judicial practices and trends. To this end, the Hon Chief Justice disclosed that a review committee has already been set up and a consultant identified to amend the rules some of which date back to 1932 or even earlier.
Hon Justice Sainabou Wadda Cisse, a Judge of The Gambia Court of Appeal emphasized the importance of the conference and the need to review and subsequently amend the Rules of Practice of the Courts. She acknowledged that the use of technology continues to impact on their work, communication and conduct.
Hon Justice Wadda Cisse added “The global wave of technological innovation and advancement has an impact on all spheres of society and the legal profession has not been left behind. The automation of records of proceedings, remote hearing and e-filing are some of the most remarkably technologically enhanced changes we have witnessed in the modern day court room. I believe that the time has come to revolutionalize our Rules of Court to embrace the use of technology to conduct virtual trials, serve court processes through digital means and employ other IT solutions to enhance the administration of justice.”
She applauded the American Bar Association for supporting such a critical initiative including the Rules review project.
The Executive Director of the American Bar Association Elysee Sandayigaya restated his office’s commitment to supporting the effective and efficient delivery of justice in The Gambia. He assured of their support to the Judiciary to attain its strategic objectives as stated in the Judiciary Strategic Plan 20212025. During the sessions, judicial officers and stakeholders took turns to deliberate on areas needy of review and amendment. The conference is in line with the Judiciary’s Strategic Objective to “Review all judicature Acts and Rules to reduce undue technicalities and bottlenecks.”