Lamin J Darboe, formerly a Magistrate in the Gambia and now a lawyer in the United Kingdom, said “although a child may be born in the UK and never actually visited The Gambia, he or she is nevertheless entitled to automatic Gambian citizenship under certain circumstances.”
The legal personality quoted Section 10 of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia that “a person born outside The Gambia after the coming into force of this Constitution shall be a citizen of The Gambia by descent if at the time of his or her birth either of his or her parents is a citizen of The Gambia otherwise than by virtue of this section or any comparable provision of any earlier Constitution.”
The Gunjur native delivered the remarks in Coventry where a Special Independence Celebration was organized for Gambian children on Saturday.
Lawyer Darboe, whose address was greeted with applause, said “by a 2001 Constitutional amendment, Section 12A (1) expressly authorises dual citizenship for Gambians by stating that “A citizen of The Gambia who acquires the citizenship of another country may, if he or she so desires, retain his or her citizenship of The Gambia.”
He added that “dual citizenship is nevertheless proscribed for registered or naturalised Gambians but the Constitution leaves no doubt whatsoever that citizens by birth or descent are not afflicted with this infirmity. At Section 13(4), it states that “Nothing in this or any other provision of this Constitution or any other law shall be construed as depriving, or authorising any person or authority to deprive, any citizen of The Gambia by birth or descent of his or her citizenship of The Gambia whether on account of such citizen holding the citizenship or nationality of some other country or for any other cause.”
Mr. Darbo said since the UK also permits dual nationality, there are no issues for children born in this country to Gambian parents in acquiring the citizenship of both countries.