Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Justice is Sweetest when Freshest, Says VP Njie-Saidy

Justice is sweetest when freshest and that justice delayed is not only justice denial but a violation of the rule of law, The Gambia�s vice president and minister for Women�s Affairs has said. 
Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy made these remarks on Thursday while presiding over the launch of the Revised Laws of The Gambia 2009. Law revision was last done in The Gambia in 1990. 
She said the printing of the law is capital intensive and therefore urged all stakeholders to collaborate with government in order to ensure that laws are regularly updated and accessible.
�The Government of The Gambia is equally aware of the fact that access to justice does not end with construction of new court buildings�, she added. �Laws are not exclusively preserved for members of the legal profession but every individual. Laws permeate every stratum of the fabric of society and as part of society itself, it reflect the political, social, economic and cultural realities and aspiration of people�.
She expressed dissatisfactory with the amendments scattered in a plethora of gazette publication which were out of print. �It was indeed an unsatisfactory state of our printed laws which needed to be addressed for which I never lost sight of since the poor state of our printed laws was brought to my attention�, she said. 
The Gambia�s no. 2 expressed concerned over the Women�s Act 2010, which await incorporation into the 2009 Revised Edition. 
For the Attorney General and minister of Justice, Edward Gomez, law revision seeks to improve access to justice, democracy and the rule of law for positive changes in the legal system.
�Transparency and accountability can be obtained only when legislation is made promptly accessible to citizens in a way that matches best their different information need�, he said
 Emmanuel Agim, the Chief Justice of the Gambia, called on the relevant authorities to compile the unwritten laws. 
�The unwritten nature of customary law renders it fluid, inaccessible and difficult to ascertain,� he said, noting that the rule is soundly defeated by the lack of written records of decisions on existence of such rule.
Dr Henry Carrol, Chairman Law Reform Commission said law revision reflects the current status quo of an independent sovereign state. Society he said is dynamic, thus it is mandatory 
mandatory to revised law reflecting the noble ideals and aspirations in efficient justice delivery. 
�It is of no legal use to continue having old obsolete laws on our statue book�, he said
He however told the gathering that the copies will be available for D25, 000. This price will be increased to D31, 000 end February 2011. 
The President of Gambia Bar Association Sherriff Tambedou said the idea of law revised was supported by the all the legal practitioners which he said make their work easier. 
 Other dignitaries present at the launching include the former President, Sir Dawda, ministers, foreign diplomats, among others.

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