A Democratic State requires state and non- state institutions aimed at safeguarding the rights of the people.
Take the American Civil Liberties Union as an example.Its stated mission “is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
They have a team of lawyers who are ready to take up cases for those who need legal protection or justice but cannot afford legal fees, at the expense of the union. They conduct advocacy and file lawsuits against maladministration.
In the Gambia, the Civil society segment that should support the poor in their land disputes, social security claims, allegations of cruel and inhuman treatment, unlawful dismissals, unlawful detention, fraudulent behaviour and the list goes on, are almost non -existent.
Hence the people rely mainly on verbal protests in the media to advocate for justice. There is growing need for people of conscience to emerge to give legal support to the needy where it matters.