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FEATURES  

Ongoing Restructuring & Reform of the Sierra Leone Judiciary
By
Dec 5, 2008, 17:12
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Hon. U. H. Tejan-Jalloh Ag. Chief Justice of the Republic
RESTRUCTURING

i. Assignment of Magisterial Cases now gives semblance of order. Cases from particular Police Stations go to particular Courts. Certain serious offences are assigned to Specific Courts etc.
ii. Magistrates are regularly monitored and their performance assessed through monthly returns.
iii. Motivation with "Top Up Allowances":-
Le1,100,000 extra per month for Freetown-based Magistrates and Le2,000,000 for Magistrates in the Provinces. As at June 2008, Government provides over 2/3rd of these payments whilst UNDP provides 1/3rd. Government will take over 100% by June 2009.
iv. We now have Deputy Masters and Registrars stationed at Makeni and Kenema to provide on-the-spot supervision.
v. An Organogram assigning specific responsibilities to Senior Judges and Masters is now in place and working well ensuring team work. 

CAPACITY BUILDING

i. All Judges now trained in computer literacy.
ii. Most Magistrates trained in computer literacy.
iii. Many support staff (approximately 110) trained in computer literacy.
iv. All officers entitled or required to use computers have been supplied.
v. All Judges and Senior Staff now connected on the internet.
vi. All Judges supplied with Laptop Computers.
vii. All Judges in the Provinces supplied with mobile Internet Modems.
viii. 1 Judge, 1 Magistrate and 3 Registrars were sent to UK for specialized training. Last one left on 21/11/08.
ix. Interpreters received intensive training.
x. Training in Record Keeping provided to 7 Court Registrars.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE

i. New Courts are being built at:-

Masiaka                - lintel level
Mile 91                 - lintel level
York                     - Just commencing
Mattru Jong           - Just commencing
Pademba Road       - contract signed
Cline Town             - contract ready

ii. Following Courts being refurbished:-

Bo (2 Magistrates Courts).
Port Loko and Waterloo.

iii. CID Building at Government Wharf to be handed to Judiciary.

Bids ready for refurbishment. Building is intended to be used for:

Judicial and Legal Training Institute.
Accommodate some Appeal Court Judges.
Accommodate a Fast-track Commercial Court.

iv. Bellair Parks Residences to be partially rehabilitated.

Due to insufficient funds, only the frontal part of the wall and a secured gate will be immediately built to secure the property and avoid the current illegal use of the grounds as a thoroughfare.

LAW COURTS INFRASTRUCTURE

Painting of Magistrates and Judges Chambers is in progress including upgrading all Chambers with new carpets, curtains etc.
Contract signed for rehabilitating sewage system and upgrading water supply, including a borehole, an underground tank and two additional water tanks.
Contract about to be signed for upgrading the electricity supply in the Law Courts Building.
Contract signed and works to commence immediately on the building of a Strong-room for keeping security documents and exhibits especially drugs, arms and ammunition.
The Building of an Information Desk on the ground floor will be completed before Christmas.


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