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In Sierra Leone, Chief Justice Umu Tejan-Jalloh Presents Published Judgments
By Bintu Aminata Sesay and Augustine Samba
Jan 11, 2010, 17:44
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Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Her Lady the Honourable Haja Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh, has presented copies of recently compiled Bound Judgments to the Law Officers Department, the Judicial Library, the Fourah Bay College of University of Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leone Law School on Friday 8th January, 2009 at the Law Courts building in Central Freetown.

In her Statement, the Honorable Chief Justice, Justice Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh said that in the practice of Law, books are invaluable but that; more critical are Law Reports and Judgments because according to her, Law is principally based on precedence. "It is important to know how other legal luminaries have treated certain matters, their views expressed and their decisions reached: although in appropriate cases, Judgments may not be binding - they can be very persuasive and of great interest. Such material is also very valuable in developing the jurisprudence, the legal institutions and good governance in Sierra Leone. They are also of necessity as they provide a level playing field for all players," the Chief. Justice maintained

Hon. Justice N.C. Brown-Mark receiving Copies for Judiciarys Library

Justice Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh went further to say that she ardently believes in team work and that whilst compiling the Judgment materials for the Judiciary, she and members of her team had to think of other team players; principally, the Ministry of Justice, the Sierra Leone Law School, and the Law Department of Fourah Bay College.

"I hope that all recipients will ensure that these Judgments into which a lot of work has been invested, will put them to very good use; particularly Judges, practitioners and students," she said.

She then presented the Bound of Judgments to the Law Officers Department that was represented by Mr. Abdul Serry-Kamal, Attorney-General, and Minister of Justice.

The documents she presented included a complete set of Judgments of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, the Court of Appeal and the High Court.

A set of the Judgments were also given to the Judicial Library whilst the Law School represented by Mr. Herbert H. I. Davies-Cole, Registrar of the Law School also received copies on behalf of his institution.

Earlier, in her opening remarks, the Consultant Master and Registrar, Justice Julia Sarkodie-Mensah said Sierra Leone has had no Law Report printed since the mid-seventies. She added that this is mainly due to logistical constraints which resulted in judgments not being typed and collated; and that most of these were only available in hand-written form. She went on to say that as part of the Judiciarys reform exercise, they are tackling this very important area.

"Judgments must be read and where necessary, followed up, applied and discussed. This is one way of building and developing our jurisprudence. It is a fact that the law is not stagnant. It has to develop and that is why we are still referring to judgments of people like Denning. But we also need to refer to our own home-grown judgments handed down by our own home-grown judges," Justice Julia Sarkodie-Mensah said.

She also used the opportunity to thank the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for providing the Judiciary of Sierra Leone with the necessary tools such as computers, printers, state-of-the-art photocopiers, cartridge toners, paper and other logistics.

Justice Julia Sarkodie- Mensah said that with the combined effort of all concerned, they now have and can boast of the Bound copies of Judgments of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone from 2001-2009 and of the Court of Appeal from 2000-2009 and Selected Judgments of the High Court also from 2000-2009; adding that the High Court Judgments of 2009 are in two volumes.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abdul Serry-Kamal after receiving the documents, said it has taken a very long time the Judiciary of Sierra Leone published such very important reports, adding that the Reports should be reproduced in large quantities for law practitioners to buy and use.

He went on to say that the Judiciary should also try to develop their own Law in consonance with British law but that they should make their own judgments based on our local jurisdiction.

Statements were also delivered by a representative from Fourah Bay College and by the Minister of Information and Communication I. B Kargbo.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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