NHRC convenes synergy on speedy access to justice

Nov 10, 2021, 12:57 PM | Article By:  Ali Jaw

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday bankrolled a 2-day conference at the Metz Hotel at Senegambia with stakeholders to discuss the theme of speedy access to justice in the country

The conference was conducted with the objective to introduce participants to state obligations in the dispensation of speedy access to justice, suggest best practices to implement speedy access to justice, map out an advocacy strategy to push for recommendations to speedy access to justice. It’s not only designed to share the experiences of participants on the subject, highlight the hindrances to access to justice, but also to identify solutions to the problems hindering speedy access to justice to ensure that there is speedy access to justice in the Gambia.

Giving his opening remarks, the NHRC’s chairperson, Emmanuel Daniel Joof, said: “Access to justice is indeed a human right and that is why the NHRC deems it important to hold this meeting to discuss with relevant stakeholders.”

“So, we have the relevant stakeholders here to discuss the issues, challenges, surrounding access to justice and to share the experience of the participants in this subject. One cannot have any one meaningful discussion on the topic without involving the judiciary, the National Center for Legal Aid, the Gambia Bar Association, the Prison Services, the police, and the relevant CSOs.”

“Access to justice has already been established as a fundamental human right. So definitely and a key stakeholder in this process, the Ministry of Justice has an important role to play. So, it is important that we call these kind of forums once in a while to come together to redesign the system and make sure that we are working towards the future that we look out for.”

“The Gambia government is doing all that is possible to ensure that there is a quality justice system delivery,” Bafou Jeng, a senior state counsel said.

Justice Awa Bah of the Supreme Court, said she thinks the theme of the conference certainly has in mind the Judicial Strategic Plan, their goals, objectives, and mission statement. 

She expressed that access to justice is a key factor in the justice dispensation system, as people want their matters to be tried expeditiously so that parties can move on with their lives. She added that the conference was timely and commended the commission for the initiative.