Njundu Drammeh

(JollofNews) – Unless the bad teeth are removed, the mouth must chew with absolute caution (adapted from “gods are not to blame”). So I think it is or should be with our Constitution and other laws. Lot of bad laws which have been a serious threat to human rights, natural justice and human dignity.

But what should we do: disobey these “bad laws” in the Constitution, because they are repugnant and obnoxious, and the other laws, because they are “inconsistent” with the Supreme Law of the land OR obey them until they are repealed?

S.2 of the Constitution states: This Constitution is the supreme law of The Gambia and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

Who determines that another law is “inconsistent” with a provision of our Constitution? Certainly, the Supreme Court. Who determines that the provision of the Constitution itself, not any law, is inconsistent with the principles of natural justice or of human rights? The Almighty People who have themselves the Constitution or the Supreme Court, the body mandated by the People to interpret the Constitution? Again I think the Supreme Court (S. 127).

So until we petition the Supreme Court regarding these inconsistencies, to declare them ultra vires, or the National Assembly repeals them, we may have no choice but to obey them. Parliament has not began the process of repealing. Citizens have the choice, wide open, to petition the Supreme Court, to initiate strategic litigation. Until we seize on that opportunity, we may not have much choice, just ajar, but to obey the Constitution and the other laws.

We are hostages to fortune. In a golden cage, our Constitution, which cribs to some extent our ability to fly. Legal reform is said to be very high on the Government agenda. This cannot wait any longer. We live the law everyday; the law defines our every act and action. The longer the legal reform takes place, the harder it would be to live a truly dignified existence which good laws, in line with human rights, provides.

Ooops….. But when lawyers disagree on ” to obey or not to obey”, who can agree? We have a choice though- the doors of the Supreme Court are wide open…

And I am not a lawyer so I may be totally wrong