Justice Jallow Takes Oath

A renowned Gambian jurist has just taken oath of office as the country’s Chief Justice. Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow has been the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) since 2003. Justice Jallow replaces Emmanuel Fagbenle who had earlier tendered his resignation.

Chief Justice Hassan Bubacarr Jallow

Jallow, a former Solicitor General, Attorney General, and Justice Minister in the Jawara government, is the son of the respected late Bansang Imam Alhagie Bubacarr Jallow. He also served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the Gambia. Justice Jallow was a member of the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal, becoming a judge of the Special Court for Sierra Leone’s Appeals Chamber judge in 2002. And in 2003, Justice Jallow was appointed the Prosecutor of the ICTR.

The author of The Law of the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and People’s Rights studied law at Tanzania’s University of Dar es Salam, the Nigerian Law School and University College in London.

The new Chief Justice’s tasks include ensuring that public trust and confidence return to the courts, which have been used as tools of punishment for innocent people during the Jammeh dictatorship. Gambians want the courts to maintain their independence as well as serve as the last bastion of hope.



  1. Now we have decent and qualified citizens taking positions of responsibility in our country. This is the change we believe in and it is the change we fought for . No more criminal judges from Nigeria and other African countries. Indigenous citizens have taken over their country, no more imported Jola killers from cassamance. This is the kind of appointments we would like to see in our country, people with deep rooted connection to the ordinary citizens are appointed into various positions. Dictator Jammeh and foreign thugs were expelled from the country thanks to ECOWAS Military intervention forces .

    • Not the kind of language we want directed at citizens of sisterly and brotherly countries..Nigeria and Senegal have played crucial roles in the ECOWAS negotiation and enforcement missions.

      I do agree that very competent, highly qualified and able Gambians are being appointed into cabinet and this is a wonderful thing that should give hope to all of us.

  2. Too many lawyers. Too many lawyers of the wrong kind!. With due respect to all human rights lawyers, but I thinks having been a prosecutor in some genocide case in Africa is perhaps the worst preparation one can think of for a Chief justice position. For starters human rights law is far too specialized and, again with due respect, hardly, hardly prepares one for the deep deep learning and experience needed of a chief justice, whose remit is much wider, far, far wider than the [pea] brain needed to prosecute someone for human rights abuses. It like promoting a traffic cop to Chief of police.

    What is this sudden bust of obsession with Human rights everything in the Gambia. You would think Gambian people are beyond being treated simply as chattels to be dissected and narrowly treated by the [a narrowly focused legal fraternity. What about Doctors, Architects, Teachers, Agriculturists. Moreover bringing home those guys who have held, mostly dead-end jobs abroad will not help either. Everyone knows that human rights law jobs, like equal opportunity jobs [important though as these are to society’s general welfare) are, in reality, just another one of those dead-end jobs traditionally reserved for, lets face it, black people who need to get to the top quickly, women, while the more assertive ones aspire to real jobs – corporate, commercial, taxation, intellectual property, trusts, criminal justice, family laws, jurisprudence!

    The African Court of Human and people’s rights is, in my opinion particularly odious, set up so that horrible people like to Zumas of South Africa and get away with blue murder. Equally the Rwanda courts operated at the same time that people were locked up in that notorious prison without roofs, denied of water and food with 7000 people cramped into space designed to hold just 300 people, and left to die of hunger: people were so hungry they resorted to eating one another. And it was under those conditions that the prosecutions took place – only in Africa, only in Africa! But it was African-on-African, was it not?

    Its like a form of social engineering is going on, led by a band of well intention, but nonetheless a narrowly focused lawyers. I would like to see these lawyers take on real issues like domestic violence, or more to the point wife beating, child bashing, disinheritance of women when the marriage ends and widows when the husband dies, and sometimes by the state when widows are not allowed to draw on their late husbands pensions! I like to see them tackle elders abuse, violation of the human rights of the mentally afflicted. I think even people with down syndrom are locked up (imprisoned) by the very people who are expected to protect their human rights. Girls as young as 14 are given into marriage – usually to a much older man. That too is abuse, and in my opinion, at par with any genocide, or worst, because, as Jammeh, evil though as he was, proved, it can be stopped!