#Article (Archive)

Lawyer Martins tasks bench and bar

Jan 17, 2011, 12:02 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Lawyer Assan Martins, an outspoken human rights lawyer and a member of the Gambia Bar Association, has tasked the members of both the Bar and Bench to do more for the future of justice in the country, while emphasizing the need to safeguard the judicial institutions in the interest of the Gambian citizens.

A former magistrate, and now a private legal practitioner, Martins called on all stakeholders in the justice delivery system, especially the Bench and Bar to do more to ensure a better future for the Gambia's justice system.

Martins, who was speaking in an interview with this reporter, believes that justice systems should be underpinned by the principles of independence and impartiality, which he said formed the cornerstone of every legal system.

According to him, Legal Year day should be a day "for reflection on the status of our justice system, and how the administration of justice has gone in the country over the past years".

Martins is of the conviction that the stakeholders in the judicial system are always being assessed by the public based on what is going on in the courts.

He urged the Bar Association to redefine its role so as to ensure that better laws are passed, and there is better administration of justice for all Gambians. This, he says on, is the duty of the Bench and the Bar, which should work out a vision for a 21st century justice system fit to serve all Gambians.

Martins is of the firm belief that they are under a duty, and oath, to contribute positively to justice delivery in the country.

"We should also be mindful that certain judgments and rulings are detrimental to the future of our justice system. A judicial officer must always remember his oath, as the guiding principle, without fear or favour, affection or ill will," he went on.

Lawyer Martins concluded by applauding the positive contributions and efforts of both members of the Bar and Bench.