By Yankuba Jallow
The Chief Justice of the Gambia, Hassan B. Jallow has given a directive for all superior courts to go on summer vacation until end September 2020.
The superior courts in The Gambia are the High Court, the Gambia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court while other courts are regarded as subordinate courts.
The Chief Justice relied on Section 143 subsection 1 of the 1997 Constitution to make such directives amid the surge in the number of cases of the novel coronavirus.
This is the fifth directive by the Chief Justice in 2020. Chief Justice Jallow said the current situation poses a greater danger to health and safety of people, thus the need for measures to be taken to avoid the spread of the virus.
The Gambia currently has about a thousand confirmed cases of the coronavirus which has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. The Gambia Government on the 5th August 2020 has declared another state of public emergency which indicated the country is facing a situation that is far from normal because it is life threatening.
He said application for bail and other matters in the superior courts should be heard by the vacation judge, believed to be Justice Ebrima Jaiteh.
He directed that all subordinate courts should scale down their operations. He instructed judicial officers (judges and magistrates) to endeavour to complete drafting pending judgements and rulings. He directed all rulings and judgments delivered or scheduled to be delivered should be submitted to his office not later than the 9th October 2020.