Constitution of the Republic of the Gambia 1996, as amended to 2004


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

(4) In the composition of the Government, women shall be fairly represented. (Sec. 214)

Citizenship and Nationality

Every person who, immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution, is a citizen of The Gambia, shall, subject to this Constitution-
(a) continue to be a citizen of The Gambia;
(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. (Sec. 8)

Citizenship and Nationality

Every person born in The Gambia after the coming into force of birth 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. (Sec. 9)

Citizenship and Nationality

A 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. (Sec. 10)

Citizenship and Nationality

Any person who-
(a) is married to a citizen of The Gambia and, since the marriage, has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for a period of not less than seven years; or
(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, shall be entitled, upon making application in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an Act or the National Assembly, to be registered as a citizen of The Gambia.
(2) 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. (Sec. 11)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) 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.
(2) The conditions referred to in subsection (1) are that the applicant-
(a) is of full age and capacity;
(b) is of good character ;
(c) has clearly shown that, if naturalised, he or she intends to continue permanently to reside in The Gambia;
(d) is capable of supporting himself or herself and his or her dependents.
(3) The Secretary of State shall give reasons for any refusal of an application made under this section.
(4) No person shall be naturalized until he or she has renounced any other citizenship he or she may have take an oath of allegiance to The Gambia. (Sec. 12)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) A Citizen of The Gambia who acquires the Citizenship of another Country may, if he or she so desires, retain his or her citizenship of The Gambia;
(2) An Act of the National Assembly may make provision for the better implementation of this section. (Sec. 12A)

Citizenship and Nationality

(1) 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-
(a) has acquired by registration, naturalisation or any voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any other country.
(b) has acquired the citizenship of The Gambia by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact;
(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;
(d) has within seven years after being registered or naturalised been convicted in any country of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude.
and, in the cases referred to in paragraphs (c) and (d), it is not conducive to the public good that he or she should continue to be a citizen of The Gambia.

(4) 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. (Sec. 13)

Citizenship and Nationality

A 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. (Sec. 14)

Citizenship and Nationality

An act of the National Assembly may make Provision for
(a) the acquisition of the citizenship of The Gambia by persons who are not eligible to become citizens under the provisions of this Chapter;
(b) the renunciation by any person of his or her citizenship of The Gambia; and
(c) generally to give effect to the provisions of this Chapter. (Sec. 15)

Composition and Appointment

(1) A person shall be qualified for appointment as Chief Justice if he or she is qualified to be appointed Judge of the Supreme Court or has been a Judge of a superior court of a common law country for not less than ten years.
(2) A person shall be qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court if he or she holds or has held office as a judge of the Court of appeal, or as a judge of a court having similar Jurisdiction in a common law country, in each case for not less than five years, or if he or she has practices as a legal practitioner before a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in a common law country for not less than twelve years.
… (Sec. 139)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) A person who alleges that-
(a) any Act of the National Assembly or any thing done under the authority of an Act of the National Assembly, or
(b) any act or omission of any person or authority,
is inconsistent with; or is in contravention of a provision of this constitution, may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for a declaration to that effect.
… (Sec. 5)

Jurisdiction and Access

(1) The Supreme Court shall have an exclusive original jurisdiction -
(a) for the interpretation or enforcement of any provision of this Constitution other than any provision of sections 18 to 33 or section 36 (5) (which relate to fundamental rights and freedoms);
(b) on any question whether any law was made in excess of the powers conferred by this Constitution or any other law upon the National Assembly or any other person or authority;
(c) on any question as to whether or not any person was validly elected to the office of President or was validly elected to, or vacated his or her seat in, the National Assembly; or
(d) on any question whether any official document should be produced, or its contents disclosed, in proceedings before a court where such production is resisted on the grounds that its production or the disclosure of its contents would be prejudicial to the security of the state or be injurious to the public interest.
(2) where any question referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) or (d) of subsection (1) arises in any proceedings in any other court, that court shall stay its proceedings and refer the matter to the Supreme Court for its determination, and such other court shall give effect to any decision of the Supreme Court in the matter.
… (Sec. 127)

Education

All persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities and with a view to achieving the full realisation of that right-
(a) basic education shall be free, compulsory and available to all;
(b) secondary education, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education;
(c) higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular, by progressive introduction of free education;
(d) functional literacy shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible;
(e) the development of a system of schools with adequate facilities at all levels shall be actively pursued. (Sec. 30)

Education

(1) The State shall endeavour to provide adequate educational opportunities at all levels of study for all citizens.
(2) The state shall pursue policies to ensure basic education for all citizens and shall endeavour to provide adequate resources so that such tuition for basic education shall be free for all citizens.
(3) The state shall endeavour to provide skills training centres.
(4) The State shall take measures to create an adult literacy programme, rehabilitative vocational training for the disabled, and continuing education programmes. (Sec. 217)

Employment Rights and Protection

(6) The State shall endeavour to ensure safe systems of working for persons who are employed and to provide that such persons are entitled to adequate rest, leave and leisure.
… (Sec. 216)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

… The 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. … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(2) 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. (Sec. 17)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) Women shall be accorded full and equal dignity of the person with men.
(2) Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men, including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. (Sec. 28)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) All persons shall be equal before the law.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself of in its effect.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(4) In this section, the expression “discrimination” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privilege or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to any law in so far as that law makes provision-
(a) with respect to persons who are not citizens of The Gambia or to qualifications for citizenship;
(b) with respect to the qualifications prescribed by this Constitution for any office;
(c) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
(d) for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe of customary law with respect to any matter in the case of persons who, under that law, are subject to that law.
(6) Subsection (3) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5).
(7) The exercise of any discretion to the relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civic or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by the Constitution or any other law shall not be enquired into by any court on the grounds that it contravenes the provisions of subsections (3). (Sec. 33)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

(1) The State shall endeavour to secure and promote a society founded on the principles of freedom, equality, justice, tolerance, probity and accountability.
… (Sec. 216)

Obligations of the State

… The 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. … (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

(1) 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.
… (Sec. 17)

Obligations of the State

(8) The rights, duties, declarations and guarantees relating to the fundamental human rights and freedoms specifically mentioned in this chapter shall not be regarded as excluding other rights which may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly as inherent in a democracy and intended to secure the freedom and dignity of man. (Sec. 37)

Obligations of the State

(3) The State, in pursuing policies under subsection (2)2, shall be bound by the fundamental rights and freedoms in the Constitution and shall be guided by international human rights instruments to which The Gambia is a signatory and which recognise and apply particular categories of basic human rights to development processes. … (Sec. 216)

Obligations of Private Parties

(1) 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.
(2) 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. (Sec. 17)

Obligations of Private Parties

(1) The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, every citizen shall;

(d) respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others and refrain from acting in a manner detrimental to the welfare of other persons;
… (Sec. 220)

Obligations of Private Parties

(2) in this Constitution, unless a contrary intention appears-
(a) words importing natural persons shall include corporations;
… (Sec. 230)

Judicial Protection

(1) 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.
… (Sec. 17)

Judicial Protection

(1) Every person shall have the right to-

(f) freedom to petition the Executive for redress of grievances and to resort to the Courts for the protection of his or her rights.
… (Sec. 25)

Judicial Protection

(1) If any person alleges that any of the provisions of section 18 to 33 or section 36 (5) of this Chapter has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to himself or herself by any person he or she may apply to the High Court for redress.
(2) An application may be made under this section in the case of a person who is detained by some other person acting on the detained person's behalf.
(3) An application under this section shall be without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available.
(4) If in any proceedings in any court subordinate to the High court any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of the said sections 18 to 33 or section 36(5), that court may, and shall if any party so requests, refer the question to the High Court, unless, in the opinion of the subordinate court, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(5) The High court shall-
(a) hear and determine any application made by any person pursuant to subsection (1) or (2);
(b) determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of subsection (4); and may, in addition to the powers conferred on it by section 5 (which relates to defense of the Constitution) make such order, issue such writ, and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purposes of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of the sections 18 to 33 or section 36(5) to the protection of which the person concerned is entitled.
Provided that the High court may decline to exercise its powers under this subsection if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.

(7) An Act of the National Assembly may confer on the high court such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may appear to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this section.
… (Sec. 37)

Judicial Protection

(1) Save as provided in section 127, the High Court shall have original jurisdiction -

(b) to interpret and enforce the fundamental rights and freedoms as provided in section 18 to 33 and section 36 (5), and in the exercise of such jurisdiction, the Court shall have all such power and authority as may be conferred by this Constitution or any other law.
… (Sec. 132)

National Human Rights Bodies

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, an Act of the National Assembly shall within six months of the coming into force of this Constitution establish the office of Ombudsman and provision for his or her functions and duties-
(a) In the investigation of any action taken by a government department or other authority, or public body, to which the Act applies, being action taken in the exercise of the administrative functions of that department or authority, on a complaint by a member of the public who claims he or she has suffered injustice in consequence of mal-administration or mismanagement, or discrimination on any ground set out in Chapter IV, in connection with such action;
… (Sec. 163)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(2) 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. (Sec. 17)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) An Act of the National assembly may authorise the taking, during any period of emergency, measures that are reasonably justifiable for dealing with the situation that exists in The Gambia.
(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of such an Act shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of sections 19, 23, 24 (other than subsections (5) to (8) thereof) or 25 of this Constitution to the extent that it is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances arising or existing during a period of public emergency for the purpose for dealing with the situation. (Sec. 35)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(8) The rights, duties, declarations and guarantees relating to the fundamental human rights and freedoms specifically mentioned in this chapter shall not be regarded as excluding other rights which may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly as inherent in a democracy and intended to secure the freedom and dignity of man. (Sec. 37)

Limitations and/or Derogations

(1) The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, every citizen shall;

(d) respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others and refrain from acting in a manner detrimental to the welfare of other persons;
… (Sec. 220)

Marriage and Family Life

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of

(f) The sharia as regards matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance among members of the communities to which it applies. (Sec. 7)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Men and women of full age and capacity shall have the right to marry and found a family
(2) Marriage shall be based on the free and full consent of the intended parties. (Sec. 27)

Marriage and Family Life

(1) Children shall have the right from the birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and subject to legislation enacted in the best interest of children, to know and be cared for by their parents.
… (Sec. 29)

Marriage and Family Life

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself of in its effect.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(4) In this section, the expression “discrimination” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privilege or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to any law in so far as that law makes provision-
(c) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;

(6) Subsection (3) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5).
… (Sec. 33)

Marriage and Family Life

(4) The Cadi Court shall only have jurisdiction to apply the Sharia in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance where the parties or other persons interested are Muslims. … (Sec. 137)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

Every citizen of The Gambia of full age and capacity shall have the right, without unreasonable restrictions-
(a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
 …
(c) to have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in The Gambia.
… (Sec. 26)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(2) Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men, including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. (Sec. 28)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

(5) The State shall endeavour to ensure equal opportunity and full participation for women in the economic development of the country. (Sec. 215)

Political Rights and Association

(1) Every person shall have the right to-

(e) freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations and unions, including political parties and trade unions;
… (Sec. 25)

Political Rights and Association

Every citizen of The Gambia of full age and capacity shall have the right, without unreasonable restrictions-
(a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
(b) to vote and stand for elections at genuine periodic elections for public office, which election shall be by universal and equal suffrage and be held by secret ballot;
… (Sec. 26)

Political Rights and Association

(2) Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men, including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. (Sec. 28)

Political Rights and Association

(1) Every citizen of The Gambia being eighteen years or older and be registered and of sound mind shall have the right to vote for the purpose of elections of a President and members of the National Assembly, and shall be entitled to be registered as a voter in a National Assembly constituency for that purpose.
(2) Every citizen of The Gambia who is a registered voter shall be entitled to vote in a referendum held in accordance with this Constitution or any other law. … (Sec. 39)

Political Rights and Association

(4) In the composition of the Government, women shall be fairly represented. (Sec. 214)

Political Parties

(1) No association, other than a political party registered under or pursuant to an Act of the National assembly, shall sponsor candidates public elections.
(2) No association shall be registered or remain registered as a political party if-
(a) it is formed or organised on an ethnic, sectional, religious or regional basis;
(b) its internal organisation does not conform with democratic principles; or
(c) its purpose if to subvert this constitution or the rule of law.
(3) An Act of the National Assembly shall make provisions for the better implementation of this section. (Sec. 60)

Electoral Bodies

(1) there shall be an Independent Electoral Commission for The Gambia which shall be part of the public service.
… (Sec. 42)

Electoral Bodies

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution the Commission Independent Electoral Commission shall be responsible for-
(a) the conduct and supervision of the registration of voters for all public elections and the conduct and supervision of all public elections and referenda;
… (Sec. 43)

Head of State

(1) There shall be a President of The Gambia who shall be the Head of State and of Government and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
… (Sec. 61)

Head of State

(1) A person shall be qualified for election as president if-
(a) he or she is a citizen of The Gambia by birth or descent,
(b) he or she attained the minimum age of thirty years but not more than sixty-five years;
(c) he or she has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for the five years immediately preceding the election;
(d) he or she has completed senior secondary school education; and
(e) he or she is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.
(2) A person who holds the citizenship or nationality of a country other than The Gambia, shall not be qualified for election as President.
… (Sec. 62)

Vice-President

(1) A person shall be qualified for election as president if-
(a) he or she is a citizen of The Gambia by birth or descent,
(b) he or she attained the minimum age of thirty years but not more than sixty-five years;
(c) he or she has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for the five years immediately preceding the election;
(d) he or she has completed senior secondary school education; and
(e) he or she is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.
(2) A person who holds the citizenship or nationality of a country other than The Gambia, shall not be qualified for election as President.
… (Sec. 62)

Vice-President

(1) There shall be a Vice-President of The Gambia who shall be the principal assistant of the President in the discharge of his or her executive functions and shall exercise such other functions as may be conferred on him or her by this Constitution or assigned to him or her by the President.
(2) A person shall be qualified to be appointed as Vice-
President if he or she has the qualifications required for the election of the President under section 62.
Provided that the Vice-President shall not be a member of the National Assembly.
(3) The Vice-President shall be appointed by the President.
… (Sec. 70)

Government

(1) Unless an Act of the National Assembly otherwise provides, there shall not be more than fifteen Secretaries of State, including the Attorney General.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed or hold the office of a Secretary of State if, he or she is a member of the National Assembly or if he or she holds the citizenship or nationality of any country other than The Gambia. In addition, a person shall not be qualified to be appointed Attorney General unless he or she is a legal practitioner of at least five years standing at the Gambian bar.
(3) Secretaries of State shall be appointed by the President and shall, before assuming the functions of their office, take and subscribe to the prescribed oaths.
… (Sec. 71)

Government

(1) There shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice-President and the Secretaries of State.
… (Sec. 73)

Government

(4) In the composition of the Government, women shall be fairly represented. (Sec. 214)

Legislature

There shall be a National Assembly of The Gambia. (Sec. 87)

Legislature

The National Assembly shall comprise –
(a) forty-eight members elected from the constitutions demarcated by the Boundaries Commission; and
(b) five members nominated by the president.
… (Sec. 88)

Legislature

(1) A person is qualified for election to the National Assembly if he or she-
(a) is a citizen of The Gambia;
(b) has attained the age of twenty-one years;
(c) has been ordinarily resident in the constituency for a period of at least one year prior to nomination day;
(d) is able to speak the English Language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him or her to take part in the proceedings of the National Assembly; and
(e) has made such declaration of his or her assets to the Independent Electoral Commission as is required in accordance with section 43.
(2) The provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) of subsection (1) shall apply to a nominated candidate who shall also be required to make a declaration of his assets to the Independent Electoral Commission. (Sec. 89)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of

(f) The sharia as regards matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance among members of the communities to which it applies. (Sec. 7)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself of in its effect.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(4) In this section, the expression “discrimination” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privilege or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to any law in so far as that law makes provision-

(c) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;

(6) Subsection (3) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5).
… (Sec. 33)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

(4) The Cadi Court shall only have jurisdiction to apply the Sharia in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance where the parties or other persons interested are Muslims.
… (Sec. 137)

Protection from Violence

(1) Every person shall have the right to liberty and security of person.
… (Sec. 19)

Protection from Violence

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude (2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Sec. 20)

Protection from Violence

No person shall be subject to torture or inhuman degrading punishment or other treatment (Sec. 21)

Protection from Violence

(2) Children under the age of sixteen years are entitled to be protected from economic exploitation and shall not be employed in or required to perform work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with their education or be harmful to their health of physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
… (Sec. 29)

Public Institutions and Services

(1) The law applicable to any benefits to which this section applies shall, in relation to any person who has been granted, or who is eligible to be granted such benefits, be that in force on the relevant date or any later law that is not less favourable to that person.

(5) This section applies to any benefits payable under any law providing for the grant of pensions, gratuities or compensation to persons who are or have been public officers in respect of their service in the public service or to the widows, children, dependants or personal representative of such persons in respect of such services.
… (Sec. 176)

Public Institutions and Services

A pension payable to any person who is or has been a public officer in respect of his or her service in the Public Service or to the widow, children or dependants of such persons in respect of such service shall-
(a) be free of all tax; and
(b) be subject to review to take account of relevant salary increases. (Sec. 177)

Public Institutions and Services

(3) Recognising that the most secure democracy is one that assures the basic necessities of life for its people, the State shall endeavour to establish an efficient, dynamic and self-reliant economy whose underlying principles shall include ensuring:
(a) ample and equal economic opportunity for all citizens and a pronounced role for the private sector, and the encouragement of private initiative;
… (Sec. 215)

Public Institutions and Services

(2) The State shall pursue policies to protect the rights and freedoms of the disabled, the aged, children and other vulnerable members of society and to ensure that such persons are provided just and equitable social opportunities.
(3) The State, in pursuing policies under subsection (2), shall be bound by the fundamental rights and freedoms in the Constitution and shall be guided by international human rights instruments to which The Gambia is a signatory and which recognise and apply particular categories of basic human rights to development processes.
(4) The State shall endeavour to facilitate equal access to clean and safe water, adequate health and medical services, habitable shelter, sufficient food and security to all persons.
… (Sec. 216)

Status of the Constitution

… This Constitution provides for us a fundamental Law, which affirms our commitment to freedom, justice, probity and accountability. … (Preamble)

Status of the Constitution

This constitution is the supreme Law of The Gambia and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Sec. 4)

Status of the Constitution

(1) The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, every citizen shall;

(b) uphold and defend the Constitution;
… (Sec. 220)

Status of International Law

(2) The State shall pursue policies to protect the rights and freedoms of the disabled, the aged, children and other vulnerable members of society and to ensure that such persons are provided just and equitable social opportunities.
(3) The State, in pursuing policies under subsection (2), shall be bound by the fundamental rights and freedoms in the Constitution and shall be guided by international human rights instruments to which The Gambia is a signatory and which recognise and apply particular categories of basic human rights to development processes.
… (Sec. 216)

Religious Law

(1) The Gambia is a Sovereign Secular Republic
… (Sec. 1)

Religious Law

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of
… (f) The sharia as regards matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance among members of the communities to which it applies. (Sec. 7)

Religious Law

(2) The National Assembly shall not pass a Bill-

(b) to establish any religion as a state religion;
… (Sec. 100)

Religious Law

(1) A Cadi Court shall be established in such places in The Gambia as the Chief Justice shall determine.
(2) The Cadi Court shall be composed-
(a) for hearings at first instance, by a panel consisting of the Cadi and two other scholars of the Sharia qualified to be a Cadi or Ulama;

(4) The Cadi Court shall only have jurisdiction to apply the Sharia in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance where the parties or other persons interested are Muslims.
(5) Any party to a proceeding in the Cadi Court who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Court may appeal to the Cadi appeals Panel.
(6) A person shall be required to be of high moral standing and professionally qualified in the Sharia in order to be appointed a Cadi or Ulama.
(7) A party to proceedings in the Cadi Court shall be entitled to be represented, at his or her own expense, by a person qualified in the Sharia. (Sec. 137)

Religious Law

(1) There shall be a Cadi Appeals Panel which shall consist of-
(a) a Chairperson; and
(b) not less than four other members.

(4) The Chairperson and other members of the Panel shall be appointed by a Cadi Appeals Selection Committee which shall consist of-
(a) the Chief Justice;
(b) the Attorney General; and
(c) a member of the Supreme Islamic Council nominated by that Council.
(5) A person shall not be qualified for appointment to the Panel-
(a) as a Chairperson, unless the person-
(i) is a legal practitioner and has been so qualified for a period of not less than five years, and
(ii) is professionally qualified in the Sharia;
(b) as a member, unless the person is professionally qualified in the Sharia.
(6) The Panel shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from judgment of the Cadi Court and from the District Tribunals where Sharia law is involved.
… (Sec. 137A)

Customary Law

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of

(e) Customary law so far as concerns members of the communities to which it applies;
… (Sec. 7)

Customary Law

(4) 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.
… (Sec. 22)

Customary Law

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself of in its effect.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.

(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to any law in so far as that law makes provision-

(d) for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe of customary law with respect to any matter in the case of persons who, under that law, are subject to that law.
(6) Subsection (3) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5).
… (Sec. 33)

Customary Law

(3) Every citizen of The Gambia being of the age of eighteen years or older and of sound mind shall be entitled, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and any Act of the National Assembly providing for such elections to vote in elections for local government authorities and traditional rulers in the area in which he or she is ordinarily resident. (Sec. 39)

Customary Law

(1) The President shall appoint a District Seyfo in consultation with the Secretary of State responsible for Local Government.
(2) The Secretary of State responsible for Local Government may, in consultation with the Divisional Commissioners, make recommendations to the National assembly for the creation of new Seyfo Districts. (Sec. 58)

Customary Law

(1) The Secretary of State responsible for Local Government shall appoint an Alkalo in consultation with the Divisional Commissioner and District Seyfo or Chairperson of the Kanifing Municipal Council, as the case may be.
(2) The Secretary of State shall, in making an appointment under subsection (1), take into account traditional lines of inheritance. (Sec. 59)

Women’s Rights

(1) Women shall be accorded full and equal dignity of the person with men.

(2) Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men, including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. (Sec. 28)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

(4) In the composition of the Government, women shall be fairly represented. (Sec. 214)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Every person who, immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution, is a citizen of The Gambia, shall, subject to this Constitution-
(a) continue to be a citizen of The Gambia;
(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. (Sec. 8)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Every person born in The Gambia after the coming into force of birth 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. (Sec. 9)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A 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. (Sec. 10)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Any person who-
(a) is married to a citizen of The Gambia and, since the marriage, has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for a period of not less than seven years; or
(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, shall be entitled, upon making application in such manner as may be prescribed by or under an Act or the National Assembly, to be registered as a citizen of The Gambia.
(2) 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. (Sec. 11)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) 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.
(2) The conditions referred to in subsection (1) are that the applicant-
(a) is of full age and capacity;
(b) is of good character ;
(c) has clearly shown that, if naturalised, he or she intends to continue permanently to reside in The Gambia;
(d) is capable of supporting himself or herself and his or her dependents.
(3) The Secretary of State shall give reasons for any refusal of an application made under this section.
(4) No person shall be naturalized until he or she has renounced any other citizenship he or she may have take an oath of allegiance to The Gambia. (Sec. 12)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) A Citizen of The Gambia who acquires the Citizenship of another Country may, if he or she so desires, retain his or her citizenship of The Gambia;
(2) An Act of the National Assembly may make provision for the better implementation of this section. (Sec. 12A)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

(1) 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-
(a) has acquired by registration, naturalisation or any voluntary and formal act (other than marriage) the citizenship of any other country.
(b) has acquired the citizenship of The Gambia by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact;
(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;
(d) has within seven years after being registered or naturalised been convicted in any country of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude.
and, in the cases referred to in paragraphs (c) and (d), it is not conducive to the public good that he or she should continue to be a citizen of The Gambia.

(4) 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. (Sec. 13)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A 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. (Sec. 14)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

An act of the National Assembly may make Provision for
(a) the acquisition of the citizenship of The Gambia by persons who are not eligible to become citizens under the provisions of this Chapter;
(b) the renunciation by any person of his or her citizenship of The Gambia; and
(c) generally to give effect to the provisions of this Chapter. (Sec. 15)

Composition and Appointment

English

(1) A person shall be qualified for appointment as Chief Justice if he or she is qualified to be appointed Judge of the Supreme Court or has been a Judge of a superior court of a common law country for not less than ten years.
(2) A person shall be qualified to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court if he or she holds or has held office as a judge of the Court of appeal, or as a judge of a court having similar Jurisdiction in a common law country, in each case for not less than five years, or if he or she has practices as a legal practitioner before a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in a common law country for not less than twelve years.
… (Sec. 139)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) A person who alleges that-
(a) any Act of the National Assembly or any thing done under the authority of an Act of the National Assembly, or
(b) any act or omission of any person or authority,
is inconsistent with; or is in contravention of a provision of this constitution, may bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction for a declaration to that effect.
… (Sec. 5)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

(1) The Supreme Court shall have an exclusive original jurisdiction -
(a) for the interpretation or enforcement of any provision of this Constitution other than any provision of sections 18 to 33 or section 36 (5) (which relate to fundamental rights and freedoms);
(b) on any question whether any law was made in excess of the powers conferred by this Constitution or any other law upon the National Assembly or any other person or authority;
(c) on any question as to whether or not any person was validly elected to the office of President or was validly elected to, or vacated his or her seat in, the National Assembly; or
(d) on any question whether any official document should be produced, or its contents disclosed, in proceedings before a court where such production is resisted on the grounds that its production or the disclosure of its contents would be prejudicial to the security of the state or be injurious to the public interest.
(2) where any question referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) or (d) of subsection (1) arises in any proceedings in any other court, that court shall stay its proceedings and refer the matter to the Supreme Court for its determination, and such other court shall give effect to any decision of the Supreme Court in the matter.
… (Sec. 127)

Education

English

All persons shall have the right to equal educational opportunities and facilities and with a view to achieving the full realisation of that right-
(a) basic education shall be free, compulsory and available to all;
(b) secondary education, including technical and vocational education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular, by the progressive introduction of free education;
(c) higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular, by progressive introduction of free education;
(d) functional literacy shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible;
(e) the development of a system of schools with adequate facilities at all levels shall be actively pursued. (Sec. 30)

Education

English

(1) The State shall endeavour to provide adequate educational opportunities at all levels of study for all citizens.
(2) The state shall pursue policies to ensure basic education for all citizens and shall endeavour to provide adequate resources so that such tuition for basic education shall be free for all citizens.
(3) The state shall endeavour to provide skills training centres.
(4) The State shall take measures to create an adult literacy programme, rehabilitative vocational training for the disabled, and continuing education programmes. (Sec. 217)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

(6) The State shall endeavour to ensure safe systems of working for persons who are employed and to provide that such persons are entitled to adequate rest, leave and leisure.
… (Sec. 216)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

… The 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. … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(2) 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. (Sec. 17)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) Women shall be accorded full and equal dignity of the person with men.
(2) Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men, including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. (Sec. 28)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) All persons shall be equal before the law.
(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself of in its effect.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(4) In this section, the expression “discrimination” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privilege or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to any law in so far as that law makes provision-
(a) with respect to persons who are not citizens of The Gambia or to qualifications for citizenship;
(b) with respect to the qualifications prescribed by this Constitution for any office;
(c) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
(d) for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe of customary law with respect to any matter in the case of persons who, under that law, are subject to that law.
(6) Subsection (3) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5).
(7) The exercise of any discretion to the relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civic or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by the Constitution or any other law shall not be enquired into by any court on the grounds that it contravenes the provisions of subsections (3). (Sec. 33)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

(1) The State shall endeavour to secure and promote a society founded on the principles of freedom, equality, justice, tolerance, probity and accountability.
… (Sec. 216)

Obligations of the State

English

… The 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. … (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

English

(1) 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.
… (Sec. 17)

Obligations of the State

English

(8) The rights, duties, declarations and guarantees relating to the fundamental human rights and freedoms specifically mentioned in this chapter shall not be regarded as excluding other rights which may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly as inherent in a democracy and intended to secure the freedom and dignity of man. (Sec. 37)

Obligations of the State

English

(3) The State, in pursuing policies under subsection (2)2, shall be bound by the fundamental rights and freedoms in the Constitution and shall be guided by international human rights instruments to which The Gambia is a signatory and which recognise and apply particular categories of basic human rights to development processes. … (Sec. 216)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

(1) 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.
(2) 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. (Sec. 17)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

(1) The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, every citizen shall;

(d) respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others and refrain from acting in a manner detrimental to the welfare of other persons;
… (Sec. 220)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

(2) in this Constitution, unless a contrary intention appears-
(a) words importing natural persons shall include corporations;
… (Sec. 230)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) 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.
… (Sec. 17)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) Every person shall have the right to-

(f) freedom to petition the Executive for redress of grievances and to resort to the Courts for the protection of his or her rights.
… (Sec. 25)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) If any person alleges that any of the provisions of section 18 to 33 or section 36 (5) of this Chapter has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to himself or herself by any person he or she may apply to the High Court for redress.
(2) An application may be made under this section in the case of a person who is detained by some other person acting on the detained person's behalf.
(3) An application under this section shall be without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available.
(4) If in any proceedings in any court subordinate to the High court any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of the said sections 18 to 33 or section 36(5), that court may, and shall if any party so requests, refer the question to the High Court, unless, in the opinion of the subordinate court, the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
(5) The High court shall-
(a) hear and determine any application made by any person pursuant to subsection (1) or (2);
(b) determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of subsection (4); and may, in addition to the powers conferred on it by section 5 (which relates to defense of the Constitution) make such order, issue such writ, and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purposes of enforcing or securing the enforcement of any of the provisions of the sections 18 to 33 or section 36(5) to the protection of which the person concerned is entitled.
Provided that the High court may decline to exercise its powers under this subsection if it is satisfied that adequate means of redress for the contravention alleged are or have been available to the person concerned under any other law.

(7) An Act of the National Assembly may confer on the high court such powers in addition to those conferred by this section as may appear to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of enabling the Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this section.
… (Sec. 37)

Judicial Protection

English

(1) Save as provided in section 127, the High Court shall have original jurisdiction -

(b) to interpret and enforce the fundamental rights and freedoms as provided in section 18 to 33 and section 36 (5), and in the exercise of such jurisdiction, the Court shall have all such power and authority as may be conferred by this Constitution or any other law.
… (Sec. 132)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, an Act of the National Assembly shall within six months of the coming into force of this Constitution establish the office of Ombudsman and provision for his or her functions and duties-
(a) In the investigation of any action taken by a government department or other authority, or public body, to which the Act applies, being action taken in the exercise of the administrative functions of that department or authority, on a complaint by a member of the public who claims he or she has suffered injustice in consequence of mal-administration or mismanagement, or discrimination on any ground set out in Chapter IV, in connection with such action;
… (Sec. 163)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(2) 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. (Sec. 17)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) An Act of the National assembly may authorise the taking, during any period of emergency, measures that are reasonably justifiable for dealing with the situation that exists in The Gambia.
(2) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of such an Act shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of sections 19, 23, 24 (other than subsections (5) to (8) thereof) or 25 of this Constitution to the extent that it is reasonably justifiable in the circumstances arising or existing during a period of public emergency for the purpose for dealing with the situation. (Sec. 35)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(8) The rights, duties, declarations and guarantees relating to the fundamental human rights and freedoms specifically mentioned in this chapter shall not be regarded as excluding other rights which may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly as inherent in a democracy and intended to secure the freedom and dignity of man. (Sec. 37)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

(1) The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, every citizen shall;

(d) respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others and refrain from acting in a manner detrimental to the welfare of other persons;
… (Sec. 220)

Marriage and Family Life

English

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of

(f) The sharia as regards matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance among members of the communities to which it applies. (Sec. 7)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Men and women of full age and capacity shall have the right to marry and found a family
(2) Marriage shall be based on the free and full consent of the intended parties. (Sec. 27)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(1) Children shall have the right from the birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and subject to legislation enacted in the best interest of children, to know and be cared for by their parents.
… (Sec. 29)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself of in its effect.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(4) In this section, the expression “discrimination” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privilege or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to any law in so far as that law makes provision-
(c) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;

(6) Subsection (3) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5).
… (Sec. 33)

Marriage and Family Life

English

(4) The Cadi Court shall only have jurisdiction to apply the Sharia in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance where the parties or other persons interested are Muslims. … (Sec. 137)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

Every citizen of The Gambia of full age and capacity shall have the right, without unreasonable restrictions-
(a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
 …
(c) to have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in The Gambia.
… (Sec. 26)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(2) Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men, including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. (Sec. 28)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

(5) The State shall endeavour to ensure equal opportunity and full participation for women in the economic development of the country. (Sec. 215)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) Every person shall have the right to-

(e) freedom of association, which shall include freedom to form and join associations and unions, including political parties and trade unions;
… (Sec. 25)

Political Rights and Association

English

Every citizen of The Gambia of full age and capacity shall have the right, without unreasonable restrictions-
(a) to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
(b) to vote and stand for elections at genuine periodic elections for public office, which election shall be by universal and equal suffrage and be held by secret ballot;
… (Sec. 26)

Political Rights and Association

English

(2) Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men, including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. (Sec. 28)

Political Rights and Association

English

(1) Every citizen of The Gambia being eighteen years or older and be registered and of sound mind shall have the right to vote for the purpose of elections of a President and members of the National Assembly, and shall be entitled to be registered as a voter in a National Assembly constituency for that purpose.
(2) Every citizen of The Gambia who is a registered voter shall be entitled to vote in a referendum held in accordance with this Constitution or any other law. … (Sec. 39)

Political Rights and Association

English

(4) In the composition of the Government, women shall be fairly represented. (Sec. 214)

Political Parties

English

(1) No association, other than a political party registered under or pursuant to an Act of the National assembly, shall sponsor candidates public elections.
(2) No association shall be registered or remain registered as a political party if-
(a) it is formed or organised on an ethnic, sectional, religious or regional basis;
(b) its internal organisation does not conform with democratic principles; or
(c) its purpose if to subvert this constitution or the rule of law.
(3) An Act of the National Assembly shall make provisions for the better implementation of this section. (Sec. 60)

Electoral Bodies

English

(1) there shall be an Independent Electoral Commission for The Gambia which shall be part of the public service.
… (Sec. 42)

Electoral Bodies

English

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution the Commission Independent Electoral Commission shall be responsible for-
(a) the conduct and supervision of the registration of voters for all public elections and the conduct and supervision of all public elections and referenda;
… (Sec. 43)

Head of State

English

(1) There shall be a President of The Gambia who shall be the Head of State and of Government and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
… (Sec. 61)

Head of State

English

(1) A person shall be qualified for election as president if-
(a) he or she is a citizen of The Gambia by birth or descent,
(b) he or she attained the minimum age of thirty years but not more than sixty-five years;
(c) he or she has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for the five years immediately preceding the election;
(d) he or she has completed senior secondary school education; and
(e) he or she is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.
(2) A person who holds the citizenship or nationality of a country other than The Gambia, shall not be qualified for election as President.
… (Sec. 62)

Vice-President

English

(1) A person shall be qualified for election as president if-
(a) he or she is a citizen of The Gambia by birth or descent,
(b) he or she attained the minimum age of thirty years but not more than sixty-five years;
(c) he or she has been ordinarily resident in The Gambia for the five years immediately preceding the election;
(d) he or she has completed senior secondary school education; and
(e) he or she is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly.
(2) A person who holds the citizenship or nationality of a country other than The Gambia, shall not be qualified for election as President.
… (Sec. 62)

Vice-President

English

(1) There shall be a Vice-President of The Gambia who shall be the principal assistant of the President in the discharge of his or her executive functions and shall exercise such other functions as may be conferred on him or her by this Constitution or assigned to him or her by the President.
(2) A person shall be qualified to be appointed as Vice-
President if he or she has the qualifications required for the election of the President under section 62.
Provided that the Vice-President shall not be a member of the National Assembly.
(3) The Vice-President shall be appointed by the President.
… (Sec. 70)

Government

English

(1) Unless an Act of the National Assembly otherwise provides, there shall not be more than fifteen Secretaries of State, including the Attorney General.
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed or hold the office of a Secretary of State if, he or she is a member of the National Assembly or if he or she holds the citizenship or nationality of any country other than The Gambia. In addition, a person shall not be qualified to be appointed Attorney General unless he or she is a legal practitioner of at least five years standing at the Gambian bar.
(3) Secretaries of State shall be appointed by the President and shall, before assuming the functions of their office, take and subscribe to the prescribed oaths.
… (Sec. 71)

Government

English

(1) There shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice-President and the Secretaries of State.
… (Sec. 73)

Government

English

(4) In the composition of the Government, women shall be fairly represented. (Sec. 214)

Legislature

English

There shall be a National Assembly of The Gambia. (Sec. 87)

Legislature

English

The National Assembly shall comprise –
(a) forty-eight members elected from the constitutions demarcated by the Boundaries Commission; and
(b) five members nominated by the president.
… (Sec. 88)

Legislature

English

(1) A person is qualified for election to the National Assembly if he or she-
(a) is a citizen of The Gambia;
(b) has attained the age of twenty-one years;
(c) has been ordinarily resident in the constituency for a period of at least one year prior to nomination day;
(d) is able to speak the English Language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him or her to take part in the proceedings of the National Assembly; and
(e) has made such declaration of his or her assets to the Independent Electoral Commission as is required in accordance with section 43.
(2) The provisions of paragraphs (a), (b) and (d) of subsection (1) shall apply to a nominated candidate who shall also be required to make a declaration of his assets to the Independent Electoral Commission. (Sec. 89)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of

(f) The sharia as regards matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance among members of the communities to which it applies. (Sec. 7)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself of in its effect.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
(4) In this section, the expression “discrimination” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privilege or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to any law in so far as that law makes provision-

(c) with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;

(6) Subsection (3) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5).
… (Sec. 33)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

(4) The Cadi Court shall only have jurisdiction to apply the Sharia in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance where the parties or other persons interested are Muslims.
… (Sec. 137)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) Every person shall have the right to liberty and security of person.
… (Sec. 19)

Protection from Violence

English

(1) No person shall be held in slavery or servitude (2) No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Sec. 20)

Protection from Violence

English

No person shall be subject to torture or inhuman degrading punishment or other treatment (Sec. 21)

Protection from Violence

English

(2) Children under the age of sixteen years are entitled to be protected from economic exploitation and shall not be employed in or required to perform work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with their education or be harmful to their health of physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
… (Sec. 29)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(1) The law applicable to any benefits to which this section applies shall, in relation to any person who has been granted, or who is eligible to be granted such benefits, be that in force on the relevant date or any later law that is not less favourable to that person.

(5) This section applies to any benefits payable under any law providing for the grant of pensions, gratuities or compensation to persons who are or have been public officers in respect of their service in the public service or to the widows, children, dependants or personal representative of such persons in respect of such services.
… (Sec. 176)

Public Institutions and Services

English

A pension payable to any person who is or has been a public officer in respect of his or her service in the Public Service or to the widow, children or dependants of such persons in respect of such service shall-
(a) be free of all tax; and
(b) be subject to review to take account of relevant salary increases. (Sec. 177)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(3) Recognising that the most secure democracy is one that assures the basic necessities of life for its people, the State shall endeavour to establish an efficient, dynamic and self-reliant economy whose underlying principles shall include ensuring:
(a) ample and equal economic opportunity for all citizens and a pronounced role for the private sector, and the encouragement of private initiative;
… (Sec. 215)

Public Institutions and Services

English

(2) The State shall pursue policies to protect the rights and freedoms of the disabled, the aged, children and other vulnerable members of society and to ensure that such persons are provided just and equitable social opportunities.
(3) The State, in pursuing policies under subsection (2), shall be bound by the fundamental rights and freedoms in the Constitution and shall be guided by international human rights instruments to which The Gambia is a signatory and which recognise and apply particular categories of basic human rights to development processes.
(4) The State shall endeavour to facilitate equal access to clean and safe water, adequate health and medical services, habitable shelter, sufficient food and security to all persons.
… (Sec. 216)

Status of the Constitution

English

… This Constitution provides for us a fundamental Law, which affirms our commitment to freedom, justice, probity and accountability. … (Preamble)

Status of the Constitution

English

This constitution is the supreme Law of The Gambia and any other law found to be inconsistent with any provision of this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. (Sec. 4)

Status of the Constitution

English

(1) The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms are inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, every citizen shall;

(b) uphold and defend the Constitution;
… (Sec. 220)

Status of International Law

English

(2) The State shall pursue policies to protect the rights and freedoms of the disabled, the aged, children and other vulnerable members of society and to ensure that such persons are provided just and equitable social opportunities.
(3) The State, in pursuing policies under subsection (2), shall be bound by the fundamental rights and freedoms in the Constitution and shall be guided by international human rights instruments to which The Gambia is a signatory and which recognise and apply particular categories of basic human rights to development processes.
… (Sec. 216)

Religious Law

English

(1) The Gambia is a Sovereign Secular Republic
… (Sec. 1)

Religious Law

English

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of
… (f) The sharia as regards matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance among members of the communities to which it applies. (Sec. 7)

Religious Law

English

(2) The National Assembly shall not pass a Bill-

(b) to establish any religion as a state religion;
… (Sec. 100)

Religious Law

English

(1) A Cadi Court shall be established in such places in The Gambia as the Chief Justice shall determine.
(2) The Cadi Court shall be composed-
(a) for hearings at first instance, by a panel consisting of the Cadi and two other scholars of the Sharia qualified to be a Cadi or Ulama;

(4) The Cadi Court shall only have jurisdiction to apply the Sharia in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance where the parties or other persons interested are Muslims.
(5) Any party to a proceeding in the Cadi Court who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Court may appeal to the Cadi appeals Panel.
(6) A person shall be required to be of high moral standing and professionally qualified in the Sharia in order to be appointed a Cadi or Ulama.
(7) A party to proceedings in the Cadi Court shall be entitled to be represented, at his or her own expense, by a person qualified in the Sharia. (Sec. 137)

Religious Law

English

(1) There shall be a Cadi Appeals Panel which shall consist of-
(a) a Chairperson; and
(b) not less than four other members.

(4) The Chairperson and other members of the Panel shall be appointed by a Cadi Appeals Selection Committee which shall consist of-
(a) the Chief Justice;
(b) the Attorney General; and
(c) a member of the Supreme Islamic Council nominated by that Council.
(5) A person shall not be qualified for appointment to the Panel-
(a) as a Chairperson, unless the person-
(i) is a legal practitioner and has been so qualified for a period of not less than five years, and
(ii) is professionally qualified in the Sharia;
(b) as a member, unless the person is professionally qualified in the Sharia.
(6) The Panel shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from judgment of the Cadi Court and from the District Tribunals where Sharia law is involved.
… (Sec. 137A)

Customary Law

English

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of

(e) Customary law so far as concerns members of the communities to which it applies;
… (Sec. 7)

Customary Law

English

(4) 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.
… (Sec. 22)

Customary Law

English

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself of in its effect.
(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (5), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.

(5) Subsection (2) shall not apply to any law in so far as that law makes provision-

(d) for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe of customary law with respect to any matter in the case of persons who, under that law, are subject to that law.
(6) Subsection (3) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision of law as is referred to in subsection (5).
… (Sec. 33)

Customary Law

English

(3) Every citizen of The Gambia being of the age of eighteen years or older and of sound mind shall be entitled, in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter and any Act of the National Assembly providing for such elections to vote in elections for local government authorities and traditional rulers in the area in which he or she is ordinarily resident. (Sec. 39)

Customary Law

English

(1) The President shall appoint a District Seyfo in consultation with the Secretary of State responsible for Local Government.
(2) The Secretary of State responsible for Local Government may, in consultation with the Divisional Commissioners, make recommendations to the National assembly for the creation of new Seyfo Districts. (Sec. 58)

Customary Law

English

(1) The Secretary of State responsible for Local Government shall appoint an Alkalo in consultation with the Divisional Commissioner and District Seyfo or Chairperson of the Kanifing Municipal Council, as the case may be.
(2) The Secretary of State shall, in making an appointment under subsection (1), take into account traditional lines of inheritance. (Sec. 59)

Women’s Rights

English

(1) Women shall be accorded full and equal dignity of the person with men.

(2) Women shall have the right to equal treatment with men, including equal opportunities in political, economic and social activities. (Sec. 28)

1

Links to all sites last visited 2 March 2016

2

This subsection states as follows: 2) “The State shall pursue policies to protect the rights and freedoms of the disabled, the aged, children and other vulnerable members of society and to ensure that such persons are provided just and equitable social opportunities.”