Legal System

The Gambia’s legal system is based on a tripartite system: English law, including the common law and principles of equity and statute law; customary law, which is administered by district tribunals; and Islamic/Shari’a law, which is administered by a Cadi Court system. The latter two systems apply only to indigenous Gambians and/or Muslims.

There have also been efforts to modernise the law, the judiciary and the administration of justice generally. Dispute resolution through the court system has been greatly accelerated in 2010. An ADR system has been introduced and indications are that it should have a positive impact on the pace at which disputes and litigation are resolved. Legal services are provided by lawyers trained in various Commonwealth countries who practise mainly from small individual chambers, but a faculty of law has been introduced at The Gambia University. There are about four law firms consisting of more than two lawyers each. The judiciary is rich with judges from The Gambia, Nigeria and other African countries.

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