THE GENERAL LEGAL COUNCIL
THE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS ACT NO: 15/2000
The public is hereby informed that Section 2 of the Legal Practitioners Act No. 15 2000 established the General Legal Council to regulate the admission, enrolment, practice and discipline of Legal Practitioners in Sierra Leone. Section 6 of the said Act further provides for the establishment of a Disciplinary Committee as a committee of the Council whose main functions are to look into complaints relating to the conduct of Legal Practitioners in their professional work.
The Disciplinary Committee chaired by the Honourable Justice S. Bash-Taqi, Justice of the Supreme Court, held its inaugural meeting on the 19th October 2010. The Disciplinary Committee has received a number of complaints against Legal Practitioners.
The Disciplinary Committee shall communicate with complainants in due course if it determines that “an inquiry ought to be held” into their complaints.
The General Legal Council notes that some of the complaints already received cannot be proceeded with as they were submitted without an affidavit in accordance with Section 31 (sec) 2 of the said Act which for ease of reference is produced below:
The Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council is requesting all those who have submitted complaints or intend to submit one to support their complaints with an affidavit as stated above.
S 31 (sec) 2 The complaint shall be supported with an affidavit setting out the facts in which the complaint is based.
To assist complainants, a simple format is produced below which should be adjusted according to the nature of the complaint and must be sworn before a Commissioner for Oaths. Complainants desiring to utilize the services of a Legal Practitioner could do so.
The General Legal Council wishes to assure the General Public that all complaints against Legal Practitioners which falls within the provisions of the said Act will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the Disciplinary Committee.
Complaints and the affidavit to accompany them should be submitted to:
Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council
C/o 2nd Floor
7 Walpole Street
IN THE MATTER OF THE LEGAL PRACTITIONERS ACT, 2000, ACT, NO. 15 OF 2000, AS AMENDED, PART V, SECTIONS 29 - 38
IN THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT AGAINST [insert full name] A LEGAL PRACTITIONER
I, [insert full name] of [insert address in the Western Area/…….Province of the Republic of Sierra Leone], [insert occupation or if unemployed state same] make oath and say as follows:-
[SET OUT IN NUMBERED PARAGRAPHS THE FACTS COMPLAINED OF]
1. That on the 1st of March 2010 I engaged the services of [insert name of legal practitioner], a Legal Practitioner, of [insert address of legal practitioner] to represent me in Magistrate Court No. 1 in respect of a criminal summons that had been issued against me.
2. That on the 6th of March 2010 I paid [insert name of legal practitioner] the sum of Le 1,000,000.00, being the agreed fees for his services in respect of the said criminal summons. I am shown a copy of the receipt of payment of the said fees issued by [insert name of legal practitioner] which is attached hereto and marked ‘A’.
3. That the criminal summons came up for hearing on the 10th of March 2010 at Magistrate Court no. 1. That I had informed the said [insert name of legal practitioner] of the date of hearing but he did not appear on my behalf on that date. That the criminal summons was adjourned to the 17th of March 2010. That I went to the chambers of the said [insert name of legal practitioner] and informed him of the adjourned date and he promised to appear on the adjourned date. That despite the promise given by him he again failed to appear on my behalf on the adjourned date.
4. That after several adjournments of the criminal summons I was compelled to engage the services of another legal practitioner in the person of [inset name of new practitioner] who is now representing me in this matter.
5. That I have requested from the said [insert name of legal practitioner] that he returns to me the said sum of Le 1,000,000.00 paid to him by me as he did not appear on my behalf in the proceedings in Magistrate Court No. 1 but he has refused to do so. That I have therefore made a complaint, in writing, to the Disciplinary Committee of the General Legal Council on the [insert date] and I make this affidavit in support of my complaint.
COMMISSIONER FOR OATHS
SWORN TO AT …...............……
THIS DAY OF __________2010
AT ____O’CLOCK IN THE FORENOON
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