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Mariam Jack-Denton, also known as Ajaratou Mariam Denton,[1] is a Gambian lawyer and politician who is the current Speaker of the National Assembly of the Gambia.

Mariam Jack-Denton
Speaker of the National Assembly
Assumed office
11 April 2017
PresidentAdama Barrow
DeputyMomodou L. K. Sanneh
Preceded byAbdoulie Bojang
Member of the National Assembly
Assumed office
11 April 2017
Appointed byAdama Barrow
Personal details
Political partyUnited Democratic Party


Early life and legal careerEdit

Jack-Denton was born in 1924, the daughter of Sir Alieu Sulayman Jack, who was a Gambian politician and the Speaker of the House of Representatives from 1962 to 1972. Her brother, Sulayman Bun Jack, was a Permanent Secretary at the Department of Defence in Dawda Jawara's government and is currently a British citizen.[2]

Jack-Denton trained as a barrister and became the first female Gambian to be called to the bar in the early 1980s.[3][4] She worked as a state counsel and senior state counsel before becoming a legal advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia. She lost her job following the 1994 coup d'etat and began an independent practice.[3]

Her barrister's chambers are based at Serign Modou Sillah Street, Banjul.[5] She also worked as a legal advisor to the United Democratic Party, the main opposition party during the Yahya Jammeh government.[6] She was arrested in March 2006 and detained for three months following an attempted coup plot by a group of soldiers and civilians. However, she was later granted bail by the High Court of the Gambia in the 2006 court case Denton v The Director-General, National Intelligence Agency and Others.[1] The government's case against her was dropped.[6]

Political careerEdit

Jack-Denton was nominated as one of five nominated members of the National Assembly by President Adama Barrow on 11 April 2017. Later that day, she was confirmed as the Speaker of the National Assembly and sworn in by the Chief Justice, Hassan Bubacar Jallow.[4] Following her appointment, Musa Saidykhan commented in Kairo News that "a solid background in law coupled with the spirit of a fighter, [means] many Gambians think Mariam Denton deserves to be a Speaker in a free and democratic Gambia."[3]

Personal lifeEdit

She is the widow of the former Accountant-General, Abou Denton.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The Gambia: Denton v The Director-General, National Intelligence Agency and Others (2006) AHRLR 241 (GaHC 2006)". Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  2. ^ "In Latest Cabinet Pick, Barrow to Name Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang Women Affairs Minister Overseeing Vice Presidency; 3 Others SG, Information & Works Ministers Named". The Gambia Echo. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Saidykhan, Musa (12 April 2017). "Mariam Denton Is A Good Fit". Kairo News. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Mariam Jack Denton Elected Speaker, 5 other women in National Assembly". The Women's Torch. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Mariama Denton Chambers, Gambia". Access Gambia. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Gambia gets female parliament speaker". Channel Africa. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Lawyer Mariam Denton Is Gambia's New Speaker Of Parliament". Freedom Newspaper. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.