Abubacarr Tambadou Early Life
Abubacarr Tambadou (Abubacarr Marie Tambadou), born 12 December 1972, known as Ba Tambadou, is a Gambian politician and lawyer who has served as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General in President Adama Barrow’s cabinet since 7 February 2017.
Prior to his 13-year career with the UN, Minister of Justice Abubacarr Marie Tambedou worked as a lawyer in the law chambers of private legal practitioner Sheriff M Tambadou in Banjul. He was also a State Counsel and a Public Prosecutor at the Gambian Ministry of Justice.
Ba Tambadou Biography and Profile
Abubacarr Tambadou (Ba Tambadou, Abubacarr Marie Tambadou) was born 12 December 1972. Abubacarr Marie Tambedou, The Gambia’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General. He is a Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of The Gambia and member of The Gambia Bar Association.
Before his position as the Gambia’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Tambadou was Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals in Arusha, Tanzania. He also served as Appeals Counsel for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and Trial Attorney for the same body.
Abubacarr Tambadou was a member of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders and a member of the Coalition of Lawyers for Defence of Human Rights in The Gambia between 2000 and 2003. He is a past First Vice President of the Family Rights Advancement and Protection, former Social Secretary of the Gambia Bar Association and former Coordinator of the Gambia Chapter of the International Criminal Court. He has also consulted for the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa.
- September 2001 – September 2002: Master of Laws (LLM), International Human Rights Law, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom.
- February 1999 – July 1999: Barrister-at-Law (BL), Lincoln’s Inn, London, United Kingdom.
- September 1994 – July 1997: Bachelor of Laws (LLB), University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.
- September 1987 – July 1992: O’Level Certificate, Saint Augustine’s High School, Banjul, The Gambia.
OTHER PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
- Certificate of Completion, International Humanitarian Law, UNICTR, Arusha, Tanzania, February 2004.
- Certificate of Attendance, International Criminal Court, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, June 2003.
Special Assistant to the Prosecutor P-4:
United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, Arusha, Tanzania, October 2012 – Present.
- Assisting the Prosecutor with preparation of background material and briefing notes for his briefings and meetings with international representatives and diplomats
- Attend high level diplomatic meetings
- Drafting reports and memoranda
- Drafting policy guidelines, protocols and regulations for the efficient management of the Office of the Prosecutor
- Attending senior management meetings and formulating policies for the Office
- Participating in budget preparation and submissions for the Office of the Prosecutor
- Recording Minutes of meetings of Senior Management
- Drafting academic papers on very novel and challenging legal issues for presentation at international conferences and academic institutions around the world
- Tailoring speeches and presentations to fit the audience
- Drafting regular reports and statements for the Prosecutor for submission to the Security Council of the United Nations
- Drafting press releases for the Office of the Prosecutor
- Accompanying the Prosecutor on his international travels and providing assistance as required
- Acting as the chief of staff of the immediate office of the Prosecutor with supervisory and management responsibilities over administrative staff in the office.
Appeals Counsel P-4:
United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Arusha, Tanzania, May 2008 – September 2012.
- Providing legal advice and analysis on a range of issues regarding violations of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and criminal law and procedure
- Drafting appeals briefs, respondents briefs and motions on behalf of the Prosecutor before the Appeals Chamber of the ICTR with the highest levels of appellate advocacy
- Appearing before the Appeals Chamber and making oral submissions on very technical and complex procedural and substantive principles of law. Cases handled on appeal included the Prosecutor vs Theoneste Bagosora, the man many believed to be the mastermind of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, and the Prosecutor vs General Augustin Bizimungu, the former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army
- Conducting training for national judicial authorities in post conflict States on international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and human rights law
- Acted as Officer-in-Charge in the absence of the Senior Appeals Counsel with supervisory and management responsibilities for all members of the appeal team including other attorneys and administrative staff
Trial Attorney P-3:
United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Arusha, Tanzania, November 2005 – May 2008.
- Responsible for prosecuting violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law committed in the territory of Rwanda in 1994
- Undertook trial preparation missions to Rwanda and other countries around the world to meet with and prepare witnesses for testimony before the Trial Chamber
- Leading witness testimony before the Trial Chamber, cross-examining defence witnesses and making oral submissions on complex issues of fact and law before the Trial Chamber
- Provided legal opinion and advice on complex principles of law and drafting motions and responding to defence motions on novel procedural and substantive legal principles
- Successfully prosecuted and secured the convictions of four accused persons including the former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army, General Augustin Bizimungu, in a case referred to as Military II at the ICT
Associate Legal Officer P-2:
United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Arusha, Tanzania, December 2003 – November 2005.
- Conducted legal research and analysis on a range of international law issues and violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law
- Drafted motions and conducted prosecutions before the Trial Chamber.
Private Legal Practitioner:
Sheriff M. Tambadou Law Chambers, Banjul, The Gambia, 2000 – 2003.
- Represented victims of human rights violations at all levels of the national justice system
- Promoted human rights laws, norms and practices and exposed violations through a variety of ways including issuing press releases and reports to government while demonstrating good political judgment
- Conducted human rights advocacy through sustained awareness campaigns including writing relevant articles on burning issues of the day in the local print media, hosting radio programs in the local languages in order to reach the widest possible audience, granting of interviews to the local press, and the conduct of seminars and workshops for targeted groups such as law enforcement agencies
- Established and maintained regular contact with government agencies and personnel in order to maintain open lines of communication through the use of my inter-personal skills
- Organised and participated in national and international human rights conferences and building regional and continental human rights networks
- Provided strategic advice on attainable short and medium term objectives for NGOs working on human rights in the African continent
- Consulted and liaised with reputable international human rights organizations and provided reports, analysis and studies on the practice of human rights at the national level
- Together with other human rights advocates and NGOs, created and established a number of reputable national human rights organizations and represented other international organizations at meetings and conferences at the continental level
- Provided consultancy work and drafted reports and memoranda on a range of human rights issues for foreign governments through their embassies
- Conducted specialized training for local law enforcement agencies for international organizations such as Amnesty International.
Ministry of Justice, Gambia Government, Republic of The Gambia, 1999 – 2000.
- Prosecution of crimes at the national level with supervisory responsibilities over public prosecutors.
Ministry of Justice, Gambia Government, Republic of The Gambia, 1997 – 1999.
- National prosecution of local crimes.
- Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of The Gambia and member of The Gambia Bar Association.
- Member of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, The Gambia, 2000 – 2003.
- Member of the Coalition of Lawyers for Defence of Human Rights, The Gambia, 2000 – 2003.
- First Vice President of Family Rights Advancement and Protection, The Gambia, 2002 – 2003.
- Social Secretary, The Gambia Bar Association, 2000 – 2001.
- Former Coordinator, Coalition for the International Criminal Court, The Gambia Chapter.
- Former Consultant for the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa.
- Former Consultant for the British Government on Human Rights in The Gambia.
- Former Consultant for Amnesty International on the training of local law enforcement agencies on Human Rights in The Gambia.
- Nominated expert for PriceWaterHouseCoopers for Legal Capacity Building Project in The Gambia.
- Nominated Executive Secretary of the Coalition for the African Court.
- Former Member of the United Nations International criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Retention Review Committee.
- Former Member of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Central Review Board.
- Member of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals Rebuttal Panel.
- Member of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals Special Post Allowance Panel.
- Member of the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals Working Group on the – Relocation of Acquitted and Released persons.
- Immunities, Amnesties or Asylum-The Case of Charles Taylor of Liberia, The Daily Observer Newspaper, The Gambia, May 2003.
- The Gambia and the International Criminal Court, The Independent Newspaper, The Gambia, June 2003.
Abubacarr Tambadou Quick Facts
Gambian Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou’s actions brought Aung San Suu Kyi to The Hague to deny that her country’s military was committing a genocide. As the UN’s highest court is about to rule on the case, Anna Holligan takes a look at the man taking on the Nobel laureate. It was an unexpected detour that led Abubacarr Tambadou from his home in the tiny West African country of The Gambia to experience an epiphany on the edge of a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.
Listening to survivors’ stories he said the “stench of genocide” began drifting across the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar.
“I realised how much more serious it was than the flashes we’d seen on television screens,” he told the BBC.
“Military and civilians would organise systematic attacks against Rohingya, burn down houses, snatch babies from their mothers’ arms and throw them alive into burning fires, round up and execute men; girls were gang-raped and put through all types of sexual violence.”
The Rohingya are a Muslim minority in mainly Buddhist Myanmar.
- More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar’s military, which U.N. investigators say was carried out with “genocidal intent”. Buddhist majority Myanmar denies accusations of genocide.
- Gambia,, mainly Muslim West African state, lodged its lawsuit after winning the support of the 57-nation Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Only a state can file a case against another state at the ICJ.
- Both Gambia and Myanmar are signatories to the 1948 Genocide Convention, which not only prohibits states from committing genocide but also compels all signatory states to prevent and punish the crime of genocide.
- Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar, a longtime democracy activist who won the Nobel peace prize for her defiance of the military junta, swept to power in Myanmar after a landslide election win in 2015 that ushered in the country’s first fully civilian government in half a century. But her reputation has been sullied by her response to the plight of the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority living in the western Rakhine state.
- While almost a million now live in squalor in Bangladeshi refugee camps, several hundred thousand remain inside Myanmar, confined to camps and villages in apartheid-like conditions.
- Aung San Suu Kyi has publicly blamed the crisis on Rohingya “terrorists”, referring to militants who attacked security posts in August 2017, prompting the army crackdown, and has branded reports of atrocities, including gang-rapes and mass killings, as fake news.
- The ICJ, established in 1946, settles disputes between states, and individuals cannot sue or be sued there. But Myanmar is facing a wave of international pressure from courts across the world, and other cases involve individual criminal responsibility.
- Days after Gambia filed its case at the ICJ, Rohingya and Latin American human rights groups submitted a lawsuit in Argentina under “universal jurisdiction”, a legal premise that deems some crimes as so horrific that they can be tried anywhere in the world. Aung San Suu Kyi was named in that lawsuit, which demands that top military and civilian leaders be sanctioned over the “existential threat” faced by the Rohingya minority.
- Separately, the International Criminal Court has authorised a full investigation into crimes committed against the Rohingya in neighbouring Bangladesh. Myanmar does not recognise the ICC but Bangladesh accepts its jurisdiction.
Minister of Justice Abubacarr Marie Tambedou is married with children.
Abubacarr Marie Tambadou Biography and Profile