UK Acting Ambassador opens Gambian legal seminar
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
British Embassy Banjul opens legal seminar run by the West African Law Institute
Acting UK Ambassador to The Gambia George Sherriff today opened a two day legal seminar being run by the West African Law Institute (WALI) on ‘Law Firm Management and Legal Ethics’.
Speaking at the event, George Sherriff Acting Ambassador said –
Ladies and Gentleman, I am very pleased to be invited here today for the opening of this two day training programme for aspiring Gambian legal practitioners which is being run by the extremely effective West African Law Institute.
As some of you may know the British Embassy Banjul has provided funds to the West African Law Institute to conduct a number of seminars aimed at helping and supporting the Gambian legal system. Today and tomorrow is one of those seminars and I’m very grateful to you all for attending. I hope you find the two day course helpful and useful and I sincerely hope the seminar gives lots of hints and tips to those of you who had thought about perhaps opening your own legal practice in the future.
I am pleased to see so many enthusiastic and energetic future legal practitioners. Upholding the rule of law is one of the most important aspects of good governance and the role you play is integral to the long term development of the country.
A leading Bar Association recently talked about the important role legal practitioners can play in upholding the rule of Law and democracy. The Association said - ‘The twin principles of democracy and the rule of law are the most important pillars of good governance. Furthermore ,each is not truly sustainable without the other.
Democracy is widely accepted as the best form of government that embodies characteristics of good governance. A democratic government is more likely to be accountable since it is more responsive to popular concerns and more transparent in its decision making. Democracy provides the only long-term, peaceful basis for managing competing ethnic, religious, and cultural issues in a way that minimizes the risk of conflict, one of the primary causes of underdevelopment.
But democracy alone is not sufficient to support good governance. Good governance is a wider concept than democracy, and includes much more than political party development or free and fair elections. Importantly, it requires the commitment to the rule of law. Without the rule of law, democracy is not sustainable. The dual importance of democracy and the rule of Law is witnessed in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, in which world leaders undertook to ‘spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of Law’.
I see from the schedule that you will be discussing marketing and publicity, planning for financial success, timekeeping and billing as well as managing client relationships. All of these are incredibly useful for a successful legal practitioner in addition to being very valuable life skills no matter what profession you may go into.
I wish you all the best for the future and thank you again.