Sep 6, 2010, 4:46 PM
A 643-page book entitled “Journey for Justice” divided into 18 chapters was on Saturday launched at the Paradise Suite Hotel in Kololi.
Authored by former Attorney General and Justice Minister in the first republic, Hassan Baboucarr Jallow, the book according to panelists combines autobiography with law and political memoirs, and provides a fascinating account of growing up in rural Gambia.
The book also combines the author’s recollection of involvement in and reflections on some of the major social, legal and political issues in The Gambia during his tenure in public office in the country.
In his launching statement, Dr Alhagie Wally Ndow, retired international civil servant, gave a brief history of the author, who was born in Bansang in the Central River Region and went through several school systems, including the University of Dar-es Salam in Tanzania, the Nigerian Law School and the University of London.
According to him, Hassan Jallow served as solicitor general from 1982 to 1984 before becoming attorney general and minister of Justice from 1984 to 1994.
“Justice Hassan Jallow was elected by the UN General Assembly as an ad litem judge of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and has served as a judge of the Appeals Chambers of the Commonwealth Arbitral Tribunal,” he stated.
Ndow further told the gathering that, currently, Jallow is the chief prosecutor at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting the principal perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
The book, he added, is valuable reading for all those with a serious interest in the history, politics, governance and development, law and legal institutions in the country and beyond.
Lamin Jobarteh, attorney general and Minister of Justice, who narrated the close relations between his family and that of Justice Jallow, lauded him (Justice Hassan Jallow) for his support and for engaging him in the legal fraternity.
According to him, some of the books authored by Justice Jallow, including the Law of Evidence in 1995, has set the pace for many legal practitioners in The Gambia and beyond.
Lawyer Antouman A.B Gaye registered his profound gratitude to the author, noting that there are books launched nowadays, but the “Journey for Justice” is indeed an important book that touches not only the legal issues, but other areas of happenings in the country.
“The author Justice Jallow is a legal luminary, African and Gambian. Evidently, he is qualified to author the book “Journey for Justice, which is not only about lawyers and justice, but many things about the countries which has never come to the public domain,” Gaye stated.
Also speaking at the launching was Alhagie Omar Sey, minister in the first republic, who noted that the book talks about several important topics, including the PPP and governance.
“I am of the view that for one to read a book to analyze or criticize, one must have the knowledge of the context,” Sey added, while calling on the young to emulate Jallow by following his footsteps to become great people of this country.
Kejaw Banja, who spoke on behalf of the people of Bansang and its catchment areas, revealed that the late father of Justice Hassan Baboucarr Jallow hailed from Fouta Jalon some 70 years ago and settled in Bansang, where he became the imam.
According to him, Jallow’s late father wrote about 17 books preaching Islam, and has taught many people both within and outside the country.
Dr Alhagie Ahmad Tijan Jallow delivered the welcome remarks.