GAMBIA SHARIA LAW REPORT VOLUME 1(2011)
“The sharia as regards matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance among members of the communities to which it applies”.
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. 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. 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.
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Cadi Appeals Panel, which is a Panel vested with jurisdiction to hear appeals purely based on Sharia matters in the Gambia, is a creation of section 137A (1) of the 1997 Constitution of the Gambia. Appeals lie to it from decisions of the Cadi Courts and the District Tribunals of the Gambia in accordance with section 137 A (6) of the same Constitution.
The Panel, shall be comprised of a Chairperson and not less than four other members and for the purpose of hearing appeals its quorum shall be constituted by at least three members of the Panel in accordance with sections 137A(1) and 137A (2) of the Constitution respectively.
Jurisdiction wise, the Panel, by section 137A (6) of the Constitution is only allowed to hear appeals from judgements of the Cadi Courts on matters relating to marriage, divorce and inheritance and from the decisions of the District Tribunals where Sharia Law is involved.
However, section 7 of the Mohammedan Law Recognition Act Cap 6:04 Laws of the Gambia, which has not been expressly repealed by any law in the Gambia provides that, Mohammedan Courts (now Cadi Courts and Cadi Appeals Panel) can entertain causes and matters, contentious or un-contentious, between or exclusively affecting Mohammedan Africans relating to Civil status, Marriage, Succession, Donations, Testaments and Guardianship.
In determining appeals from the two courts above, the Panel shall be guided by the Cadi Appeals Panel Rules 2009 and any relevant authority pertaining to Sharia Law.
This product, cited as GAMBIA SHARIA LAW REPORT VOLUME 1 2011, contains 19 selected judgements/rulings of the Panel on Sharia matters from 2005 to 2011. The judgments and rulings are arranged based on the dates of the decisions. The product is aimed at affording the general public, most especially the law students, the practicing lawyers and the Honourable members of the bench who are the keepers of fountain of justice the opportunity of knowing the Islamic law as it relates to their family status.
Being first of its kind in this area, the product admittedly, must suffer in one way or the other from certain shortcomings. Please forgive us if you come across any such shortcoming.
Justice A. S Usman
For and on Behalf of Nigerian Team of Kadis
On Technical Assistance to the Gambia
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