‘Legal profession not for dishonest, incompetent persons’

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

The chief justice of the Gambia, Justice Hassan B. Jallow has said that membership of the legal profession is not for the dishonest, incompetent or lazy people but for the honest, the truthful, the hardworking and those whose hearts are filled with passion for justice.

Chief Justice Hassan Jallow made these remarks call yesterday, 4th February, 2019, whilst presiding over the 7th call to the Bar of 58 students at a ceremony at the Law Court Complex, Independence Drive, Banjul.

He disclosed that The Gambia Law School since its establishment has graduated 275 students and that the school has continued to attract foreign students with several from Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa.

He congratulated the graduates on attaining significant landmark in their quest to become legal practitioners, and their parents and sponsors who have made financial sacrifices to see them this crucial stage of their studies.

He expressed appreciation to the law school faculty and staff for their unflinching efforts to impart knowledge of the law and the practical skills required to operate as members of the legal profession.

He pointed out that many of the graduates of the school have acquainted themselves very well with the practice of the law.

He further pointed out that the school administration and faculty must continue to ensure that the graduates of the school meet the highest standards expected of the members of the profession they desire to join.

He told the graduates that with the award of their qualifying certificates from the law school and their call to The Gambia Bar, they are poised for a career at the Bar, in law.

He reminded them of the pupilage before enrollment if they are found in all respects to be fit and proper person to engage in the legal profession of a legal professional.

Chief Justice Hassan Jallow averred that upgrading their knowledge of the law, improving their professional skills with the guidance of experienced senior counsel, working long hours lie ahead of them.

He further averred that a life time of continuous study lies ahead of them, adding that they should never think of one moment that they have concluded their learning and studies.

He stated that even as judicial officers, the judiciary recognises the limitations of human knowledge; hence the Training Unit of the Judiciary has in partnership with other agencies been very active in delivering a programme of continuous education for judges, magistrates, cadis and other staff of the judiciary.

He noted that the bar would soon institute a similar programme for its members to enable them keep abreast of development in the law and in the practice of the law.

He charged that the knowledge and skills they acquire from their education and training will give them flexibility more than other profession, to assist their community, policy adviser and policy maker in the private sector, in business, as a politician in the service of their community.

Speaking on behalf of the president, the minister of Youths and Sports, Haddrameh Sidibeh, urged the new entrants to abide to the code of conduct of the legal profession and advised them to preserve their credibility at all time.

He congratulated Chief Justice Hassan B. Jallow for his leadership and steering the affairs of the judiciary, adding that the government is committed to creating the necessary environment in ensuring that justice is readily available to all.

The guest speaker, Mariam Jack-Denton, speaker of the National Assembly congratulated the new entrants to the bar and urged them to dedicate themselves to serve the country in their endeavour.

She took the liberty to name few female Gambian lawyers; adding that out of the 58 new entrants, 26 are female.

She advised the new entrants to cultivate knowledge of the law and utilize their knowledge in upholding the rule of law, adding that they join and support the Bar Association in their activities.

Certificates were presented to the graduates by Ousainou A. Nmukunda Darboe, the vice-president and ministers for women affairs, and the attorney general and minister of Justice, Abubacarr Tambadou.

Deserving students were given prizes and Kumba Mboge who delivered the vote of thanks was the most outstanding student and she received the President’ Prize. She also received the Law of Evidence Prize and the Advocacy Skills Prize sponsored by Attorney General and Minister of Justice and The Gambia Bar Association respectively.

Fatou M. Jawo received the Chief Justice sponsored Prize for professional conduct, Sulayman Sunbundum received the Criminal Procedure prize sponsored by the A.A.B. Gaye and Co, Mamadu Saidou Bah received the Company law prize sponsored by Pa Edi Faal, whilst Fatou Ibrahim Darboe received the English and Legislative Prize sponsored by Solie Law Chambers, Ndey Ngoneh Jeng received the Legal Drafting Prize sponsored by Amie N. Bensouda and Bekai Saidy received the Civil Procedure Prize sponsored by Mrs. Rachel Mendy.

The mayor of Banjul donated D50,000 to the new female graduates (lawyers).

Author: Bruce Asemota