By Nelson Manneh
The Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), on Monday May 20th 2019, engaged the National Human Right Commission on the current Constitutional review process.
The close-door meeting which took place at the CRC’s main conference hall in Kotu, brought together officers and staff of the two Commissions to discuss issues on Human Rights and Citizenship among others.
Justice Cherno Sulayman Jallow, the Chairperson of the CRC explained some of the activities they have accomplished; that since the beginning of the Commission’s activities, they have engaged relevant stakeholders and citizens in the process; adding they have been tasked to review the 1997 Constitution in order to draft a new one for the country.
“In doing so, we deem it necessary to seek the opinions of stakeholders and all Gambians. We collect information from them analyze it, weigh it and determine whether it is relevant or not. This is not easy that is why we have a team of experts, researchers, statisticians, and transcribers among others,” he said.
He said they started the process by engaging the citizenry during tours within the whole country, and have now started external consultation.
Justice Jallow said they endeavor to collect information from citizens both at home and abroad, and that the process is challenging but its worth it.
“The good thing about the consultation is that we receive different opinions on the same subject matter and this has been helping us in getting to this stage. There are some who cannot attend but contribute by writing to the CRC,” he said.
Justice Jallow said at this point, they have not formulated any position as they are combining opinions on human rights and citizenship, which are certainly key in any constitutional development process.
He commended the National Human Rights Commission for honoring their invitation. Lawyer Emmanuel Joof, the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission assured the Chairperson and entire team of the CRC, of their support in the process.
“We are the youngest Commission established so far in the country, and we are endeavoring to work to expectation,” he said.
By Nelson Manneh