Ministry of Justice Validated the Special Prosecutor’s Office Bill and Special Accountability Mechanism Bill
By Musa Saho
The Ministry of Justice with the support of USAID, Democracy International, and Gambia Bar Association, on Wednesday, 18th October 2023 conducted a validation workshop with stakeholders on the Special Prosecutor’s Office Bill (SPA) and Special Accountability Mechanism Bill (SAM) at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Conference Center in Kololi.
The workshop was attended by the staff of the Ministry of Justice, representatives of Democracy International, the Gambia Bar Association, Carter Center, and stakeholders from different Civil Society Organizations working on transitional justice issues in The Gambia.
In his opening remarks, the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice, Honorable Dawda A. Jallow reiterated the government's commitment to ensuring justice and accountability – leading to the drafting of the SPA and SAM Bills, adding that these laws provide the legal framework needed to operationalise the accountability mechanism.
The Attorney General went further to indicate that the government has secured collaboration with ECOWAS to establish a hybrid tribunal, which is a testament to his office’s determination to work collaboratively, both domestically and regionally, to ensure that justice is served and that accountability is upheld.
“The political will of the government is not just a promise, it’s a commitment etched in the steps taken to ensure justice and accountability. Our goal is not only about holding perpetrators accountable but also about making victims whole again.” the Attorney General said.
The president of the Gambia Bar Association Mr. Salieu Taal, speaking during the occasion acknowledged the participatory and inclusive approach of the ministry in drafting the SOP and SAM bill.
Finally, the Representative of Democracy International, Mr. Aaron Myers reiterated his office's unwavering support for accountability concerning post-TRRC crimes and institutional reforms.
Principal State Counsel Ella R Dougan delivered the closing remarks on behalf of the Hon Solicitor General. She expressed gratitude to all the participants for spending their valuable time scrutinizing, analyzing, and discussing the Special Prosecutor's Office Bill and the Special Accountability Mechanism Bill, recognizing their significant impact on the legal landscape of the Gambia.