By Yankuba Jallow
Following the suspension of the sittings at the TRRC and the National Assembly, the courts have now joined the list as a measure to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Both the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) and the National Assembly have on Wednesday, 19th March 2020 suspended their sittings amidst the confirmation of the first Coronavirus case in The Gambia.
The Office of the Chief Justice has directed that proceedings in all courts be suspended or adjourned with effect from Monday, 23rd March 2020 until further notice.
The Gambia has on Tuesday, 17th March 2020 confirmed its first case of Coronavirus which has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This virus has killed thousands of people worldwide and the number of cases is on the rise. Governments worldwide are putting in place measures to avert the situation. The President of the Gambia, Mr. Adama Barrow has on Tuesday announced the banning of public gatherings and closure of schools for 21 days.
The Chief Justice’s Office confirmed to Foroyaa that judicial officers will, however, continue to hear and determine applications for bail and to attend to all urgent matters that can be dealt with in chambers. Foroyaa was also told that the offices of the judiciary will remain open and staff will continue to be available to deliver other services to the general public.
According to his Lordship Chief Justice Hassan Jallow, the measures are considered necessary in the interest of public health and safety.
“Any inconvenience to litigants and to the general public is regretted and their patience will be appreciated,” he concluded.