By Momodou Jarju
Two International Lawyers with expertise on Constitutional matters in the persons of Hon. Willy Mutunga, the former Chief Justice of Kenya and Professor Albert K. Fiadjoe, former Chairperson of Ghana’s Constitutional Review Commission, have arrived in The Gambia to join the CRC team of experts on Constitutional Law in drafting the new Constitution for The Gambia.
This was disclosed on the Commission’s Facebook page as it commences work to draft the new Constitution.
These erudite personalities yesterday held a brief meeting with the CRC’s Vice Chairperson Hawa Sisay Sabally, who also doubles as the Chairperson of CRC’s technical committee of experts on Constitutional Law and Omar Ousman Jobe, the Executive Secretary of CRC.
About Justice Willy Mutunga:
Justice Willy Mutunga is a lawyer and a student of other disciplines. He obtained his LL.B (1971) and LL.M (1974) from the University of Dar es Salaam. He obtained his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1992 from Osgoode Law School, University of York, in Canada. He taught law at the Faculty of Law in the University of Nairobi, 1974-1982. He worked in the human rights, social justice, and constitution-making movements in Kenya and East Africa until 2004 when he joined the Ford Foundation where he worked until 2011.
Justice Willy Mutunga was Kenya’s Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court from 2011 to 2016. Recently he has served as Secretary General of the Commonwealth special envoy to the Maldives, and a distinguished scholar-in-residence at Fordham Law’s Leitner Center for international Law and Justice School.
Justice Mutunga played a pivotal role in the constitution-making processes in Kenya from the 1970s and particularly, from the early 1990s. He worked on the implementation of the progressive 2010 Kenyan Constitution as head of the Judiciary and President of the apex court in the country. He advocated, in his writings and judgments, for the development of indigenous, robust, patriotic, decolonized, de-imperialized, progressive, and transformative jurisprudence that is not insular and does not pay unthinking deference to other jurisdictions, regardless of how prominent they may be. He has also advocated for a progressive jurisprudence for Africa and the global south as part of the significant contribution in the struggle for a new just, peaceful, and equitable world.
During his tenure as Chief Justice, Mutunga sought to lay permanent and indestructible foundations for a transformed judiciary. Under the blueprint of the Kenyan Judiciary Transformation Framework 2012-2016, he achieved impressive progress in bringing the justice system closer to the ordinary people. He also worked on the linkage between formal and traditional justice systems as decreed by the constitution. He not only humanized the Kenyan judicial system but also reduced the case backlogs significantly. He aimed to use technology as an enabler of justice, as well as to bring about equitable and transparent systems of recruitment, promotions, and training. He supported and strengthened the Judicial Training Institute as a nucleus for juristic training and an institution of higher learning.
Justice Mutunga is well known for his fight against corruption in the Judiciary and in Kenya as a whole. He spearheaded, in the national interest, independent and principled dialogue, consultation, and collaboration between the three arms of government, the devolved governments, civil and corporate society, the media, and the public as a whole. Under his watch the notion of the Judiciary as an institutional political actor began to take root.
Justice Mutunga has published 2 first author books, 8 co-author books, 39 scholarly articles [7 of them are chapters in books] and 44 unpublished lectures and papers read in conferences. He has also written 16 forewords and prefaces in books on variety of disciplines. Through these writings Justice Mutunga’s trajectory of political activism is robustly reflected.
Justice Mutunga believes a free, just, humane, non-militaristic, non-violent, peaceful, equitable, ecologically safe, prosperous, and socialist planet is the only alternative against the global status quo.
About Professor Albert K. Fiadjoe:
Albert K. Fiatdjoe is a Council Member of the Ghana Association of Reconstruction and Insolvency Advisors (GARIA), Council Member of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Chairperson of the Legal sub-Committee of the Public Interest Accountability Committee (PIAC), an International Legal Consultant, Emeritus Professor of Public Law and formerly Dean, Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies.
He holds LL.B (Hons.) (Ghana), LL.M and Ph. D (London) degrees with four Certificates in Mediation, Arbitration and Rights and Obligations of the World Trade Organization, from the International Law Institute, Washington DC.
His published works include two text books in Public Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution together with over fifty articles in internationally refereed journals.
Prof. Fiadjoe was Chairperson of the Constitution Review Commission of Ghana, 2010 – 2012, one time Chairperson of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, the First Chairperson of the Ghana Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Member of the Ghana Bar Association and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
He is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana with fifty one (51) years of legal practice, Notary Public and a Domestic and International Arbitrator.
By Momodou Jarju