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“You Must Promote Honesty, Truth & Justice,” CJ Tells Newly Enrolled Legal Practitioners 

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Group photo of the new enrollees with Chief Justice and President of the bar

By Landing Ceesay 

The Chief Justice of The Gambia, Hon. Hassan B. Jallow, presided over the official enrollment ceremony for 27 new legal practitioners to the bar, urging them to uphold the highest ethical standards in their professional lives. He emphasized the importance of honesty, truth, and justice as the core values that should guide their conduct. 

Addressing the legal professionals, Chief Justice Jallow stressed their role as officers of the court, emphasizing their duty to assist the court in its pursuit of justice and truth. He underscored that this duty takes precedence over their responsibilities to clients, urging them to avoid misleading or guiding the court. The Chief Justice emphasized the significance of upholding values such as truth, honesty, integrity, hard work, and diligence, asserting that these qualities are pivotal for success in the legal profession.

“You are all officers of the court, and you must assist the court, you must not mislead the court or misguide the court. You must assist the court in their search for justice. You must also remember that this duty of yours to the court in assisting it in search of justice and truth overrides your responsibilities to your clients. Your commitment to helping the court to find the truth overrides your commitment to your client.

“You must also remember that you should desist from dishonest conduct and all other conduct which may bring you to disrepute or the profession to disrepute. Truth, honesty, integrity, hard work, and diligence, are the hallmarks of success for any legal practitioner, and you must be guided by those. You must not only desist from discredited conduct, but in fact, you must promote honesty, truth, and justice. You must promote the rule of law and governance in your community; that is your responsibility as legal practitioners,” the Hon. Chief Justice told the newly enrolled legal practitioners. 

Under the auspices of The Honorable Chief Justice of the Republic of The Gambia, the General Legal Council (GLC), as established by the Legal Practitioners Act, officially admitted 27 legal practitioners on Thursday, December 7, 2023.

These newly inducted members of the bar have successfully completed extensive academic and vocational training. Prior to their admission, the General Legal Council of The Gambia meticulously evaluated their qualifications.

The General Legal Council is tasked with overseeing the legal profession at large, including matters related to admission to legal practice, the maintenance of professional conduct standards, and the provision of legal education in The Gambia.

The Honorable Chief Justice conveyed to the new members of the Bar the imperative of upholding the dignity of the profession through their conduct, behaviors, actions, and words.

While acknowledging the arduous journey of the past 4 to 5 years, the Honorable Chief Justice cautioned the new members that the path ahead would not be any less challenging. To succeed at the Bar, dedication to a lifetime of hard work, diligence, and competence is essential. The Chief Justice emphasized the continual pursuit of legal knowledge, stressing that learning the law is an ongoing process. He encouraged them to glean insights from the experience of their seniors and to embody the principles of the code of conduct in their professional lives.

“It may have been a tedious journey for the past maybe 4 to 5 years, but don’t think that the journey you are about to embark on is going to be less difficult. If you wish to be successful at the Bar, two things are required of you. One you must dedicate yourselves to a lifetime of hard, diligent, and competent work. You must continue as they say, to burn the midnight candle to work while others sleep or rest, if you wish to be successful. 

“To learn more of the law, you haven’t finished, and you will never finish learning the law or knowing the law. We don’t finish knowing the law. You must continue to search for more knowledge of the law and also learn from the experience of your seniors and learn more from them about practice. But what is equally important is that the years you spent familiarizing yourselves with the code of conduct must now be spent by living with the principles of that code,” CJ told the new members of the Bar. 

The Honorable Chief Justice, Hassan B. Jallow, emphasized that the newly admitted legal practitioners must diligently adhere to the code of conduct and uphold the standards of professional behavior and ethics expected of them in their capacity as legal professionals.

The Chief Justice also acknowledged the collective effort and significant sacrifices made by the practitioners themselves, as well as their families and friends, in reaching this milestone.

Addressing the newly enrolled legal practitioners, the Chief Justice remarked, “You are being enrolled as legal practitioners after an academic and vocational part of your training, and more importantly, your assessment by the General Legal Council (GLC) that you are all fit and proper persons to be enrolled as legal practitioners. We must remain fit and proper persons to continue to be legal practitioners, and I urge you to do so.” 

One of the key responsibilities of the General Legal Council was to create a School of Law in The Gambia and serve as the governing authority for that institution. In 2011, the Council successfully founded the Gambia Law School.

Additionally, according to Section 26(1) of the Legal Practitioners Act, 2016, the General Legal Council is entrusted with the authority to organize a legal education system, determine the subjects for examination required for enrollment, establish the curriculum for student instruction, and oversee student admissions, among other responsibilities.

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