CARL enjoys $100,000 UNDP support

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March 14, 2019

BY Yusufu S. Bangura

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Ibrahim Tommy (L) and Rule of Law and Reporting Officer, Claire Flynn-Byrne(R)

The Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL) has received a $100,000 United Nations Development Project (UNDP) to raise awareness and deepen knowledge on the Bail Regulations 2017.

“As part of the project’s efforts to raise awareness on the regulations, we will produce jingles, arrange radio discussions and short videos for the consumption of the wider public,” said CARL’s Executive Director, Ibrahim Tommy.

Ibrahim Tommy told newsmen yesterday at their Upper Brook Street office that they would use the fund to support the Judiciary with the view to making the Bail Regulations effective.

Giving an overview of the Regulations, Tommy said it would provide guidelines for the consistent adjudication of bail applications in court.

He said the bail regulations seeks to ensure that people are incarcerated only when absolutely necessary, as it provides a clear and consistent set of procedures for all Magistrates and Judges in Sierra Leone.

He said during the 12-month implementation period, they would organize a national conference where they would educate the public on the issue of bail, as well as other justice sector related issues.

Director Tommy said they would observe how the bail regulations would be implemented in the courtrooms by assigning court monitors in each judicial district across the country.

He said the monitors would monitor the adjudication of bail applications, especially in Magistrates’ Courts across the country.

He noted that after the court monitoring exercise, they would have to collect data to ascertain the number of cases that were in courts and the number of bail applications granted or rejected.

He stated that they would compile the result and share with the justice sector stakeholders.

Tommy said they were facing some challenges in implementing the bail regulations, but that they were working very hard to ensure that the regulations were effective, as that would guide the court, magistrates and even lawyers on how they would do their work.

He noted that an accused person should not be incarcerated for minor offences, but must be granted bail by the magistrate, except for murder matters that are above the lower court.

The Rule of Law and Reporting Officer from UNDP, Claire Flynn-Byrne, said they were working with the government especially the Judiciary, Civil Society Organizations and other institutions across the country to push forward the bail regulations.

She said they work with CARL to strengthen the demand side of justice delivery in the country, noting that they have worked with dedicated and experienced organizations and had achieved successful court monitoring.

She said they have been explaining to magistrate courts nationwide about the implementation of the bail regulations, since it was enacted in parliament in 2018.

She commended CARL for their efforts in ensuring that the public is aware about the success recorded on the process.

She thanked the organization for their good work and called on them not to relent.