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Magistrates’ Courts still sitting

Dec 28, 2016, 11:24 AM | Article By: Bruce Asemota

Magistrates’ courts across the length and breadth of the country have been sitting, contrary to speculation that these courts have not been sitting as a result of the Gambia Bar Association’s warning to its members and the Judiciary staff to boycott the courts.

When this reporter visited Banjul, Brikama, and Kanifing magistrates courts and the Industrial Tribunal yesterday, he found out that these courts were fully operational, but without the usual presence of private legal practitioners in the courtrooms.

At the Brikama Magistrates’ Court, the court premises were filled with people and all the magistrates were busy adjudicating cases principally criminal matters.

“We are hearing cases and we adjourn cases involving lawyers. We are civil servants and not politicians and, most especially, we are working for Gambian people,” a court official said.

“Some lawyers use to come, but they don’t attend court sittings; but civil and criminal cases are heard without lawyers,” the official added.

At the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court and the Industrial Tribunal, the court was in session as the premises was also filled with people, but the usual smartly dressed private legal practitioners were absent.

At the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, an official said the courts are sitting, except in matters where lawyers are involved.

At the High Courts’ complex in Banjul, this reporter observed that Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay, the vacation judge, was present and in her chambers.