By Arfang M.S. Camara
For the first time in the history of the country, The Gambia has introduced virtual court sittings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“With assistance from The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), two pilot virtual courts have been established in the High Court. The Hon. Chief Justice has assigned for the time being two judges to pilot courts whose main focus was to be on bail applications,” the office of the Chief Justice said in a press release.
The release further added that Hon. Justice Amina Saho-Ceesay and Hon. Justice Sainabou Wadda-Cisse will preside over the applications using the modern Zoom platform with internet connections.
“Lawyers representing applicants and those for the state and or the police and other prosecuting agencies will participate in the proceedings using the remote technology. A television will be set up at the prisons to allow the detainees to follow the hearings. The overall objective of the project was to decongest the prisons.”
In a separate development but related issue, President Adama Barrow acting on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, has appointed Mrs. Aisatou Jallow-Sey as the new judicial secretary, following the elevation of the former occupant, Hon. Justice Landing M. Sanneh who is now appointed as a judge of the High Court.
The release further added that Mrs. Jallow-Sey obtained LLB (Hon) degree from the international Islamic University of Malaysia in 1993 and Master of Laws (LL.M) from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 2003. She has 27 years’ experience as a legal practitioner in private practice, the state law office, international organisations, the private financial and public sectors as well in civil society.