From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Chief Justice Highlights Achievements
By Aruna Turay
Dec 16, 2010, 18:02

The Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Hon. Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh has highlighted achievements so far made in the country’s judicial system upon her assumption to that office.

Addressing distinguished personalities including Judges, Magistrates, Justices of the Peace (JP) and a battery of legal officers to mark the centenary celebration of existence of the Law Courts Building on Wednesday 15th December, 2010 in Freetown, the erudite judicial luminary said under her stewardship, the judiciary has been able to collect data of all judgments made by the Superior Courts from 1976 to 2008. She said copies of the data have been bound and distributed to the Law Faculty at Fourah Bay College, Law Officers’ Department, the Law School as well as the Judiciary’s Library.  In addition, Justice Tejan-Jalloh informed that complete sets of the documents have been purchased by Law Firms and other Institutions like the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Human Rights Commission among others.

Further, she said they have also been able to design an electronic format of all statutes and subsidiary legislations in addition to the judgments mentioned above.

“We have also conducted trainings on how to access and use these resources,” she proffered, adding that they can also be accessed on their proposed website which would soon be launched in the first quarter of 2011. 

“We also now have our own staff buses and this has made staff punctuality very effective,” Justice Tejan-Jalloh furthered.

On other achievements, the Chief Justice cited the establishment of Magistrate Courts in Freetown, York, Masiaka and Mile 91 respectively as well as the Fast Track Commercial Court in Freetown which she informed would start sitting early next year.

“We have also established the Judicial and Legal Training Institute that would cater for training of trainers’ programmes, training of magistrates, Justices of the Peace, court clerks and Bailiffs as well as court reporters among others,” she noted.

Hon. Justice Umu Tejan-Jalloh used the forum as an opportunity to inform her audience of various other trainings conducted locally and internationally in areas such as juvenile justice, gender justice, combating fraud and transnational crimes, gender based violence, and computer literacy. She assured that training programmes for court officials would be continuous as they continue to build the capacity of their Human Resource base.

In conclusion, the Honorable Chief Justice assured staff members that efforts to improve the conditions of service of all judicial staff are continuing; and that there are already indications that there is “light at the end of the tunnel.” I am confident that we will see the fruits which will put smiles on our faces early in the New Year,” she said, while expressing hope that the achievements would to a very large extent, attract more judges and magistrates as well as other experienced judicial support staff.

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