Gambia, The

This section contains a brief description of the legal system of The Gambia.

The Gambia became independent from Britain on 18 February 1965 as a constitutional monarchy. On 24 April 1970, The Gambia became a republic, following a referendum on the issue. Prime Minister (later President) Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, became head of state.

After an unsuccessful coup attempt in 1981, The Gambia and Senegal, which surrounds The Gambia, formed a federation of Senegambia in 1982 to combine the armed forces, currencies and economies of the two countries. The Gambia withdrew from the confederation in 1989. 

Yahya Jammeh led a military coup in 1994 to overthrow the Jawara presidency. A new constitution and presidential elections in 1996, followed by parliamentary electoins in 1997, marked a nominal return to civilian rule. Jammeh has been elected president in all subsequent elections including most recently in late 2011.

The Gambia has a mixed legal system of English common law, Islamic law, and customary law.

The Gambia has a constitution which came into effect in 1997.

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