Lawyers debate case hearing priority

By Kebba Jeffang

What should be given priority, a case involving a state counsel or the seniority of counsel?

In a stiff debate at the Brikama Magistrates’ Court, state counsel representing the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NATIP) A. M. Mendy maintained that state matters should be given priority.

In response, senior private legal practitioner Borry Touray expressed a contrary view. He argued that priority should be given to seniority of counsel. He said on many occasions the cases of junior state counsels were given priority over cases of senior private counsels when it comes to case hearing in court. He argued that it is unfounded in any law in The Gambia and therefore urged the trial magistrate to allow him to proceed with his case.

Responding to the submission of the private counsel, the NATIP lawyer argued that it is based on law that state matters in court should be given priority especially on criminal matters.

The debate arose when state counsel A. M. Mendy stood up for his case to proceed, while the senior private counsel also stood for his case to be heard.

Magistrate Hilary Abeke, however, decided that the case of the state counsel should proceed.