By Kebba Jeffang
In a bid to gauge informed opinion on the arrest and prosecution of magistrates or judges in connection with decisions taken in courts, Foroyaa is conducting a vox-pop. We intend to interview senior lawyers, the bar association, human rights advocates, etc.
On Monday, November 16, 2015, this reporter had an interview with a former magistrate, now a veteran lawyer, Mr. Antouman A.B Gaye who strongly condemned such an act, describing it as an attack on the independence of the judiciary.
“Magistrates and judges he said have taken oath. They have oath of office to administer justice according to law to all manner of people without fear, favour, affection or ill-will, that is why they are given immunity. If you don’t have immunity and you have a case, in deciding you will have at the back of your mind that something averse will happen. Cases should be decided with open mind, according to law and nothing else,” he asserted.
Gaye said section 130 of the Constitution has made it categorically clear and spells out the immunity of the magistrates and judges, and that they should not be arrested regarding decisions they make in court. He noted that the magistrate courts are part of the hierarchical structure of the court system and therefore any decision made there is subjected to appeal by the other party if he or she wishes to do so.