Legislators refer 2 bills to ABC

Jul 15, 2020, 11:18 AM | Article By: Ismaila Sonko

Lawmakers at the National Assembly on Monday referred both the Criminal Offences Bill 2019 and Criminal Procedure Bill 2020 to the Assembly’s Business Committee (ABC) for scrutiny.

Moving the motion, the attorney general and minister for Justice Dawda A. Jallow said the bill is the first attempt in undertaking a comprehensive review of the criminal code of The Gambia since its enactment in 1933. 

The Justice minister underlined that the bills seek to align our criminal justice legislation with current trends by removing all provisions inimical to freedom of speech such as criminal defamation and sedition.

He added that the bills will also to close long-standing legal lacunae by expanding the criminal jurisdiction of Gambia courts to offences committed by persons outside the country and who thereafter state. 

However, all the sentences under the old law were also reviewed in the bills to bring them in line with current realities.

Ousman Sillah, the Banjul North lawmaker urged the executive through the Ministry of Justice to come with an amendment rather than coming with the full bill.

Fatoumatta Njai, the lawmaker for Banjul South said that the criminal offences bill needs stakeholders’ consultation before coming to the parliament, while describing the bill as a good bill that comes to protect the lives and the livelihood of Gambians.

Justice Minister Jallow called on the members of parliament to give their support to the bills so that the lives and the livelihood of Gambians can be protected for the betterment of the country.