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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS : Legal Matters  

Sierra Leone Lawyers Issue Press Release on Journalism
By
Nov 19, 2013, 17:22
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BAR ASSOCIATION WANTS A BETTER MEDIA LANDSCAPE

 

 

SIERRA LEONE BAR ASSOCIATION

FIAT JUSTITIA

11 Lamina Sankoh Street

Freetown.

PRESS RELEASE

WHEREAS by virtue of its mandate, the Sierra Leone Bar Association remains committed to its promise to be the vanguard of the efforts for the promotion and defence of the Rule of Law, Good Governance, Social Justice and the Dignity of all persons in Sierra Leone.

 

AND WHEREAS the Sierra Leone Bar Association is conscious of the obligation of journalists to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in the Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991 and to highlight the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people of Sierra Leone

 

AND WHEREAS the attention of the Sierra Leone Bar Association has been drawn to the recent trend in the practice of journalism in Sierra Leone, in particular the Bar Association is cognizant of the following:

 

a. Open warfare amongst Media Practitioners;

b. Vitriolic comments made by and against Media Practitioners;

c. Unprintable words published against other journalists, politicians and members of the public;

d. Indecorous conduct in the practice of journalism:

 

The Bar Association sadly notes that some of the conduct of the members of the media profession hinge on breaches of professional and ethical standards of media practice and fall foul of existing laws of general application in Sierra Leone and derogate from international standards of journalism.

 

The Bar Association also notes the on-going trials of journalist for libel contrary to provisions in the Public Order Act No. 46 of 1965:

 

The Bar Association hereby resolves as follows:-

 

1. That the Independent Media Commission follows the Independent Media Commission Act 2000 as amended and the Independent Media Commission Code of Practice to the latter, particularly in respect of the manner in which Media Practitioners carry out their trade, so as to ensure that they conduct their trade in a more professional, ethical and imitable manner.

2. That the Independent Media Commission and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists be implored to run training courses for Journalists, in a bid to ensure that their conduct accords with generally acceptable standards of media ethics.

3. That Bar Association condemns in unequivocal terms all illegal personal attacks by Media Practitioners of all persons in Sierra Leone and more especially so, family members of persons in position of authority.

4. That the Judiciary and the Sierra Leone Police ensure that all persons either under investigations or facing criminal trials in Sierra Leone are accorded their due process rights and be assured of their fair hearing rights

5. Condemnation of any action likely to give the impression that anarchy, impunity and disrespect for the rule of law are alive and well in Sierra Leone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JAMES MOMODU FORNAH-SESAY, ESQ

SECRETARY GENERAL


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