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5We the people of The Gambia have accomplished a great and historic task. We have had our say on how we should be governed. For this Constitution contains our will and resolve for good governance and a just, secure and prosperous society.
6Our hopes and aspirations as a people were reflected in the enthusiasm and zeal with which we embarked on the task of nation building on the attainment of independence. The self-perpetuating rule of the recent past, however, soon gave rise to the abuse of office and related vices which negated the total welfare of the Gambian people. The sovereign people of The Gambia therefore endorsed the change of government on 22nd July 1994 to rectify such evils.
7This Constitution provides for us a fundamental Law, which affirms our commitment to freedom, justice, probity and accountability. It also affirms the principle that all power emanate from the sovereign will of the people.
8The fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in this Constitution will ensure for all time respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to ethnic considerations, gender, language or religion. In acknowledging our fundamental rights we also affirm our duties and responsibilities as citizens of this Country.
9This Constitution guarantees participatory democracy that reflects the undiluted choice of the people. The functions of the arms of government have been clearly defined, their independence amply secured with adequate checks and balances to ensure that they all work harmoniously together toward our common good.
10As we usher in the Second Republic and beyond we give ourselves and generations of Gambians yet unborn this Constitution as a beacon of hope for peace and stability in our society and the good governance of The Gambia for all time.
152. The Sovereignty of The Gambia resides in the people of The Gambia from whom all organs of government derive their authority and in whose name and for whose welfare and prosperity the powers of government are to be exercised in accordance with this Constitution
182. The Public Seal shall be used exclusively for authenticating matters of state and no person or organisation, other than the Government of The Gambia and those persons who may be authorised in accordance with an Act of the National assembly, may use the design of the seal or any design resembling it as such person's or organisation's emblem.
302. The court may make orders and give directions as it may considered appropriate for given, to such a declaration and any person to whom any order or direction is addressed shall duly obey and carry out the terms of the order or direction.
36 a.by himself or herself or in concert with others, by any violent or other unlawful means, suspends or overthrows or abrogates this Constitution or any part of it, or attempts to do any such act, or
392. All citizens of The Gambia have the right and the duty at all times to defend this Constitution and, in particular, to resist, to the extent reasonably justifiable in the circumstances, any person or group of persons seeking or attempting by any violent or unlawful means to suspend, overthrow or abrogate this Constitution or any part of it.
53 b.retain the same status as a citizen by birth, by descent, by registration or by naturalisation, as the case may be, as he or she enjoyed immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution.
55Every person born in The Gambia after the coming into force of this Constitution shall be presumed to be a citizen of The Gambia by birth if at the time of his or her birth, one of his or her parents is a citizen of The Gambia.
57A person born outside The Gambia after the coming into force of this Constitution shall be a citizen of The Gambia by descent if at the time of his or her birth either of his or her parents is a citizen of The Gambia otherwise than by virtue of this section or any comparable provision of any earlier Constitution.
61 b.has been married to another person who was, during the subsistence of the marriage a citizen of The Gambia and, since the end of the marriage (whether by annulment, divorce or death), has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for a period of not less than seven years,
632. The annulment of a marriage of a person who has been registered as a citizen of The Gambia under this section, or under the provisions of any earlier law for the registration as a citizen of The Gambia of a person on account of marriage, shall not affect that person's status as a citizen of The Gambia.
651. Any person who has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for a continuous period of not less than fifteen years and who satisfies the conditions set out in subsection (2) may apply, in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an Act of the National Assembly, to be naturalised as a citizen of The Gambia.
771. The Secretary of State may apply to the high court for an order depriving a person who has been registered or has been naturalised as a citizen of The Gambia of his or her citizenship on the grounds that he or she-
80 c.has, at any time since acquiring citizenship of The Gambia, voluntarily claimed and exercised in a country other than The Gambia any rights available to him or her under the laws of that country, being rights accorded exclusively to that country's citizens;
832. Before making any application for an order under this section, the Secretary of State shall give notice in writing to the person concerned of the grounds for the application and of his or her right to be heard and to be legally represented at the hearing of the application before the Court.
843. If the High Court is satisfied that the Secretary of State has established that the person concerned has acted in a manner described in subsection (1) and notified that person, and, in a case referred to in paragraph (c) or (d) of subsection (1) that it is not conducive to the public good that the person concerned should continue to be a citizen of The Gambia, it shall made an order depriving that person his or her citizenship of The Gambia.
854. Nothing in this or any other provision of this Constitution or any other law shall be construed has depriving, or authorising any person or authority to deprive, any citizen of The Gambia by birth or descent of his or her citizenship of The Gambia whether on account of such citizen holding the citizenship or nationality of some other country or for any other cause.
87A citizen of The Gambia who loses his or her citizenship of The Gambia as a result of the acquisition or profession of the citizenship of some other country shall, on the renunciation of the citizenship of that other country, be entitled to be registered, or if he or she was formerly a citizen by birth or descent, to be officially recognised, as a citizen of The Gambia.
952. For the purposes of this Chapter, a person, born aboard a registered ship or aircraft, aboard an unregistered ship or aircraft of the government of any country, shall be deemed to have been born in the place in which the ship or aircraft is registered or, as the case may be, in that country.
963. Any reference in this Chapter to the citizenship of a parent of a person at the time of that person's birth, shall, in relation to a person born after the death of that parent, be construed as reference to that parent's citizenship at the time of death.
991. The fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in this Chapter shall be respected and upheld by all organs of the Executive and its agencies, the Legislature and, where applicable to them, by all natural and legal persons in The Gambia, and shall be enforceable by the Courts in accordance with this Constitution.
1002. Every person in the Gambia, whatever his or her race, colour, gender, Language, religion, political or other opinion, National or social origin, property, birth or other status, shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this chapter, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.
1021. No person shall be deprived of his or her life intentionally except in the execution of a sentence of death imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction in respect of a criminal offence for which the penalty is death under the Laws of The Gambia as they have effect in accordance with subsection (2) and of which he or she has been lawfully convicted.
1032. As from the coming into force of this Constitution, no court in The Gambia shall be competent to impose a sentence of death for any offence unless the sentence is prescribed by law and the offence involves violence, or the administration of any toxic substance, resulting in the death of another person.
1043. The National Assembly shall within ten years from the date of the coming into force of this Constitution review the desirability or otherwise of the total abolition of the death penalty in The Gambia
1054. Without prejudice to any liability for a contravention of any other law with respect to the use of force in such cases as are hereinafter mentioned, a person shall not be regarded as having been deprived of his or her life in contravention of this section if he or she dies as a result of the use of force to such extent as is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of the case, that is to say-
1121. Every person shall have the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary, arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his or her liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.
1132. Any person who is arrested or detained shall be informed as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any case within three hours, in a language that he or she can understands, of the reasons for his or her arrest or detention and of his or her right to consult a legal practitioner.
1184. Where any person is brought before a court in execution of the order of a court in any proceedings or upon suspicions of his or her having committed or being about to commit an offence, he or she shall not thereafter be further held in custody in connection with those proceedings or that offence save upon the order of a court.
1195. If any person arrested or detained as mentioned in subsection (3)(b) is not tried within a reasonable time, then without prejudice to any further proceedings which may be brought against him or her, he or she shall be released either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions, including, in particular, such conditions as are reasonably necessary to ensure that he or she appears at a later date for trial or proceedings preliminary to trial.
1206. Any person who is unlawfully arrested or detained by any other person shall be entitled to compensation from that other person of from any other person or authority on whose behalf that other person was acting.
126 b.labour required of any person while he or she is lawfully detained that, though not required in consequence of the sentence or order of the court, is reasonable necessary in the interests of hygiene or for the maintenance of the place in which he or she is detained;
127 c.any labour required of a member of a defence force in pursuance of his or her duties as such or, in the case of a person who has conscientious objections to service as a member of any naval, military or air force, any labour which that person is required by law to perform in place of such service;
128 d.any labour required during a period of public emergency or in the event of any other emergency or calamity which threatens the life or well-being of the community, to the extent that the requiring of such labour is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances of any situation arising or existing during that period or as a result of that other emergency or calamity for the purposes of dealing with that situation; or
1331. No property of any description shall be taken possession of compulsorily, and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of The Gambia, except where the following conditions are satisfied:
134 a.the taking of possession or acquisition is necessary in the interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, town and country planning, or the development or utilisation of any property in such manner as to promote the public benefit; and
138 ii.securing to any person having an interest in or right over the property, a right of access to a court or other impartial and independent authority for the determination of his or her interest or right, the legality of the taking of possession or acquisition of the property, interest or right, and the amount of any to which he or she is entitled, and for the purpose of obtaining prompt payment of that compensation.
149 ii.Of agricultural development or improvement which the owner occupier of the land has been required and has without reasonable or lawful excuse refused or failed, to carryout, except so far as that provision, or as the case may be the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
1503. Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the making or operation of any law for the compulsory taking in the public interest of any property, or the compulsory acquisition in the public interest of any interest in or right over property, where that property interest is held by a body corporate which is established directly by any law and in which no monies are provided by an Act of the National Assembly.
1514. where a compulsory acquisition of land by or on behalf of the Government involves the displacement of any inhabitant who occupy the land under customary law, the Government shall resettle the displaced inhabitants on suitable alternative land with due regard to their economic well being and social and cultural values.
1525. Any such property of whatever description compulsorily taken possession of, and any interest in or right over property of any description compulsorily acquired in the public interest for a public purpose for which it is taken or acquired.
1536. Where any such property as is referred to in subsection (5) is not used in the public interest or for the public purpose for which it was taken or acquired, the person who was the owner immediately before the compulsory taking or acquisition, as the case may be, shall be given the first option of acquiring that property, in which event he or she shall be required to refund the whole or such part of the compensation as may be agreed upon between the parties thereto; and in the absence of any such agreement such amount as shall be determined by the high Court.
1551. no person shall be subject to interference with the privacy of his or her home, correspondence or communications save as is in accordance with law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interest of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the protection of health or morals, for the prevention of disorder or crime or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
158 b.in cases where delay in obtaining such judicial authority carries with it the danger of prejudicing the objects of the search or the public interest and such procedures as are prescribed by an Act of the national Assembly to preclude abuse are properly satisfied. Provision to secure protection
1601. Any court or other adjudicating authority established by law for the determination of any criminal trial or matter, or for the determination of the existence or extent of any civil right or obligation, shall be independent and impartial; and
1642. All proceedings of every court and proceedings relating to the determination of the existence or extent of civil rights or obligations before any other authority including the announcement of the decision of the court or other authority, shall be held in public.
165Provided that the court or other authority may, to such extent as it may consider necessary or expedient in circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice or interlocutory civil proceedings, or to such extent as it may be empowered or required by law to do so in the interest of defense, public safety, public order, public morality, the welfare of persons under the age of eighteen years or the protection of the private lives of persons concerned in the proceedings, exclude from its proceedings persons other than the parties thereto and their legal representatives.
172 e.shall be afforded facilities to examine in person or by his or her legal representative the witnesses called by the prosecution before the court and to obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his or her behalf before the court on the same conditions as those applying to witnesses called by the prosecution; and
173 f.shall be permitted to have without payment the assistance of an interpreter if he or she cannot understand the language used at the trial of the charge; and, except with his or her own consent, the trial shall not take place in his or her absent unless he or she so conducts himself or herself has to render the continuance of the proceedings in his or her presence impractical and the court has ordered him or her to be removed and the trial to proceed in his or her absence.
1744. When a person is tried for any criminal offence, the accused person or any person authorised by him or her in that behalf shall, if he or she requires and subject to the payment of such reasonable fee as may be prescribed by law, be given within a reasonable time, and in any event within thirty days after the end of the trial, a copy for the use of the accused person of any record of the proceedings made by or on behalf of the court.
1755. No person shall be charged with or held to be guilty of a criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not at the time it took place constitute such an offence, and no penalty shall be imposed for any criminal offence which is more severe in degree or description that the maximum penalty which might have been imposed for that offence at the time when it was committed.
1766. No person who shows he or she has been tried by any competent court for a criminal offence and either convicted or acquitted shall again be tried for that offence or for any other offence of which he or she could have been convicted at the trial for that offence save upon the order of a superior court made in the course of appeal or revision proceedings relating to the conviction or acquittal:
177Provided that nothing in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this subsection by reason only that it authorises any court to try a member of a defense force for a criminal offence notwithstanding any trial or conviction of the member under service law; but any court so trying such a member and convicting him or her shall, in sentencing him or her to any punishment, take into account any punishment awarded him or her under service law.
183 b.subsection (3)(e), to the extent that the law in question imposes reasonable conditions that must be satisfied if witnesses called to testify on behalf of an accused person are to be paid their expenses out of public funds.
1944. The freedoms referred to in subsections (1) and (2) shall be exercised subject to the law of The Gambia in so far as that law imposes reasonable restriction on the exercise of the rights and freedoms thereby conferred, which are necessary in a democratic society and are required in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of The Gambia, national security, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court.