The Judicial and Legal Training Institute of the Judiciary of Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Ghana Judiciary, the Sierra Leone Bar Association, the UK/SL Probono Network and with funds from ROLE UK and the Department for International Development (DFID) through the Justice Recovery Project, has commenced three days training for all Judges of the Judiciary of Sierra Leone and lawyers from the Sierra Leone Bar Association on Case Management on the theme “An Eye on Efficiency and Speed…” at the Hub Hotel, Wilberforce Village.
In his opening courtesy, the Honourable Chief Justice, Hon Mr. Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm said, Case Management is a vital tool that will ensure efficiency and speedy delivery of justice. He said that some fifteen years ago, it was decided that Case Management should be an aid not only in civil but also in criminal proceedings. The Hon Chief Justice revealed that countries who have in cooperated Case Management in their justice system have made progressions with their reforms.
The Hon Chief Justice told the gathering that countries like Ghana and the United Kingdom are far advanced in Case Management and has helped them addressing the problem of case load and expeditious trial. In Sierra Leone, the Hon Chief Justice noted, that Judges have more than one hundred and fifty caseload which affect their commitment to expeditious trial but with Case Management he said, judges will be able to streamline matters and do justice to the cases fairly.
He said that The Judiciary of Sierra Leone in its last year’s Judicial Conference, agreed that Case Management should be integrated and strategically placed in the Judiciary of Sierra Leone which he believed is a spring board to efficient judicial reforms.
Speaking on behalf of the team from the Ghana Judiciary, Sir Dennis Adei -Justice of the Court of Appeal in Ghana said that in ancient time, when legal people were litigating, they used to keep evidence and release them later- a process he described as “ambush litigation”. He said that “ambush litigation” has no space in the current justice delivery system and has been proved uncooperative to expeditious trial. He said what is operating and more acceptable, is a justice delivery system that is complementary, one in which lawyers and judges cooperate for effective justice delivery.
He said that Case Management will help the Judiciary of Sierra Leone just as in other countries to hear cases expeditious without compromising integrity. “With Case Management, cases that would have taken months in court will take a week”. He said. Justice Sir Dennis Adjei beseeched all to submit to the new rules of Case Management which in turn will help to improve our system of adjudication as well as the judicial process in Sierra Leone.
Making a statement on behalf of The Sierra Leone Bar Association, the Assistant Secretary General Ashmia Fofonah Esq. said that her association is appreciative of what she described as “welcoming collaboration” and that the theme of the Conference project a clear call on the consistency in the dispensation of justice of which her association is positively affected. She assured the gathering that, her Association will embrace the principle of Case Management whole heartily.
For day one of the Conference, Senior Judges of the Judiciary of Sierra Leone and their counterparts, will look at various aspects of Case management including but not limited Case Management in Context: scope and purpose of produce by Hon Mr. Justice Eku E. Roberts (JSC), Managing the Criminal Trail by Hon Mr. Justice Browne-Marke (JSC), Mapping the Path of the Case1-summons for Directions, Discovery etc: Justice Dennis Adjei (JA), Preserving the Integrity of the Process by Hon. Ms. Fatmata Bintu Alhadi and Case Management Directions, Point of the Law and Preliminary Issues and Summary Judgement and Strike Out Applications by Richard Honey of UKSLPBN.
However, the Hon Mr. Justice Reginald S. Fynn (AP) welcomed the team from Ghana and his colleagues Judges of the Sierra Leone Judiciary. The Conference was chaired by Hon Mr. Justice Eku E. Roberts (JSC).
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