Justice Minister says president Barrow’s Gov’t is working to revive lifeless CRC
By Sulayman Waan
Dawda A. Jallow, Attorney General and Minister of Justice has said that The Gambia Government is working with international partners to revive the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) that was laid to rest in 2020.
Speaking at United Nations Peacebuilding Commission in New York yesterday, Justice Jallow said: “The Government of The Gambia is now working with partners such as International IDEA to revive the Constitutional Review Process to enable effective legislative reforms.”
However, Justice Jallow did not clarify whether the government is going to revive the dead Draft Constitution or to commence a fresh one.
It could be recalled that in 2020 the CRC led by Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, former chairman for the CRC submitted a new draft Constitution to President Barrow. However, the Draft Constitution could not make it to the referendum stage due to its failure to pass the 2/3 votes needed in the National Assembly.
Consequently, Jallow said The Gambia Government is working with International IDEA to recover the Constitutional Review Commission Process to enable effective legislative reforms.
“The strategy to re-launch the constitutional building process is being worked out and stakeholder consultations in this regard will soon commence,” he said.
Justice Jallow said: “Currently, his ministry is at a crucial point in the Transitional Justice (TJ) process, transforming from fact-finding to developing an implementation plan, which will give detailed information on actions to be taken, their timelines and costs.”
He said The Gambia Government intends to organize a donor conference in early 2023, by which time Government would have circulated copies of the costed implementation plan showing details of all planned activities.
“We hope all our partners and donors will be able to participate at this important conference, as this will be an excellent opportunity to choose which areas they would wish to collaborate on. After this initial gathering, we hope to begin holding periodic partnership platform meetings with partners and stakeholders to move the TJ process forward,” he said.
On TRRC Accountability
“The TRRC report has outlined those it deems most responsible for the atrocities committed under the previous Government. We have been able to complete a Prosecution Strategy which will serve as a blueprint for prosecution emanating from the TRRC Report.”
“The Government has secured judgment on the NIA 9 case. The judgment is a good signal for the recommended prosecutions contained in the strategy. We are also working in close collaboration with our bilateral partners such as Switzerland, the United States, and Germany, through MLA frameworks, in the prosecution of the apprehended suspected Junglers in their respective countries,” he said.
Speaking further, he said following the completion of the Prosecutions Strategy, the Government is working on setting up an autonomous Special Prosecutions Office, to be headed by a Special Prosecutor.
This office, he said will have investigative and prosecutorial authority over all the offenses recommended for prosecution by the TRRC.
On reparation of victims, he said Government acknowledges that reparations are a central part of the reconciliation process and is committed to ensuring life-transforming reparations are provided to victims of human rights violations that occurred during the previous regime.
However, he said this requires substantial financial resources that Government cannot bear alone and needs assistance in achieving the reparations target.