Partnering with Gambian Civil Society on Accountability for Grand Corruption
Since President Barrow assumed power in 2017, The Gambia has taken modest steps to curb corruption. This has included the introduction of new legislation to strengthen national anti-corruption measures - for example, the 2019 Access to Information Bill; the establishment of various anti-corruption bodies, such as The Gambia Public Procurement Authority and the Assets Recovery and Management Corporation; and the use of existing legislation such as the 2012 Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Law. Despite these tools, the mechanisms for domestic accountability for corruption have not worked as intended. Notably, the government accepted the recommendations of the Janneh Commission, which was responsible for mapping the scale and scope of grand corruption during the 22-year reign of Jammeh. These recommendations included the forfeiture or confiscation of Jammeh’s properties to the state and other criminal proceedings to be instituted against Jammeh. However, there has been a general reluctance to implement the recommendations, with a lack of public information on the forfeiture or confiscation of Jammeh’s assets and challenges to the legal force of these recommendations. Despite the lack of domestic accountability for corruption, US and UK sanctions have been used against Jammeh and his associates, resulting in asset freezes and travel bans in those countries. Sanctions represent one tool in the toolbox that can help with accountability of individuals involved in corruption.
ILP collaborated with Public-Private Integrity (PPI), who requested training on sanctions as well as the confiscation, use, and reuse of assets. PPI is a civil society organisation based in The Gambia which focuses on the implementation and application of anti-corruption measures in order to improve national anti-corruption mechanisms and uphold international anti-corruption standards. ILP’s partners, Ropes & Gray, provided comprehensive training for representatives from Gambian civil society, with the aim of using the knowledge exchange to properly address anti-corruption efforts in The Gambia. The international team from Ropes & Grey specifically covered the following topics in the virtual 1.5-hour training:
● An introduction and overview of global human rights and anti-corruption sanctions, primarily the UK, the US and European Union
● International best practices for asset forfeiture and recovery
● A description of the Jammeh Commission of Inquiry and its implications for asset
forfeiture in the US and sanctions in the UK and the US
The session was interactive, with the civil society partners keen to understand the application and opportunities that sanctions represent for their context, especially regarding the Jammeh Commission of Inquiry. PPI expressed the desire to further engage the team from Ropes & Grey and ILP with the content from the workshop as well as bespoke training for Gambian National Assembly and civil servants.
For the full recording of the training, click here.
See below for a download link of the presentation slides for the training.