NHRC, stakeholders hold forum on boost Speedy Access to Justice

Mamos Media

By Adama Tine

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and stakeholders on Tuesday commenced a two day forum to boost Speedy Access to Justice in the country.

The main objective of the forum held at Metzy Hotel was to discuss challenges detainees and inmates are facing, identify problems hindering speedy access to justice and suggest best practices on how to make sure there is quality access to justice.

Emmanuel Daniel Joof, Chairperson of NHRC, said: “Access to justice is indeed a human right, that is why the National Human Rights Commission deems it important to hold the conference in other to discuss with relevant stakeholders on the issues.”

“One cannot have any meaningful discussion on the topic without involving the Judiciary, National Agency for Legal Aid, the Gambia Bar Association, the Prison Service, the police and the relevant Civil Society Organisations (CSOs),” he added.

“We believe that after this meeting we will be in a better position to issue advisory note to the government on enhancing speedy access to justice after engaging all the stakeholders,” Joof added.

Joof also said: “the NHRC’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025 identifies assistance in ensuring equitable access to justice in the Gambia as part of its strategic objectives, adding that access to justices is a human right and an integral element of the rule of law and well-functioning democracy.”

Counsel Ya Amie Touray of the Gambia Bar Association said they are pleased to be a partner and would continue to collaborate with the National Human Rights Commission and other organizations to ensure that access to justice continues to be a right that is respected, and protected within the jurisdiction of the Gambia.

Justice Awa Bah, Supreme Court Judge said, speedy access to justice is a key factor in the justice dispensation system, adding that they appreciate the fact that justice most not only be accessible but accessible to all.

“The judiciary also has it in mind in trying to decentralize the whole justice delivery system though we are present in the regions but not in all, so expansion is part of our strategy plans so that justice can be accessible to all,” she said.

AT/COB/DAJ/10/11/21

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