The courts are established to prevent miscarriage of justice. They are meant to be impartial and independent tribunals that would deliver justice without fear or favour, affection or ill will.

Judges are not supposed to be under the dictate of any other authority except the constitution, the laws and judicial precedence.

Section 24 of the Constitution of the Second Republic of The Gambia has made it abundantly clear that the innocence of an accused person must be presumed until he / she pleads guilty or is proven to be guilty.

An innocent person must not be detained. A person who is presumed to be innocent should only be required to give surety which is not excessive to ensure that he/she appears in court for hearing to determine innocence or guilt.

There is need for a constitutional provision which makes bail mandatory for all those who could afford to lodge the required surety.

In the meantime, those judicial authorities who are to exercise discretionary powers in granting bail should be restrained by the principle of the presumption of innocence.