October 27, 2015 By Regina Pratt
The Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) last Friday (October 23) held a one-day interactive session on the theme, ‘Bridging the gap between Lawyers, Judges and Journalists’, at the Archbishop Brosnahan Memorial Hall, Santanno House in Freetown.
In his welcome address, IWPR Project Manager, Mohamed Kuyateh, said the meeting was for the two groups to explore various areas of differences as well as areas of collaboration in order to encourage openness and the sharing of information.
Lawyer Nicky Spencer-Coker, who represented the Legal Aid Board Executive Director, noted that lawyers are only advocates and not members of the judiciary, and that the judiciary mainly consists of the Chief Justice, judges and magistrates.
She said they are in support of the process of bridging the gap between the judiciary and the media, so as to enhance effective and accurate court reporting.
Director of Programme at Campaign for Good Governance, Mrs. Marcella Samba-Sesay, said citizens do not understand the structure of the court and how it operates, and that it would be prudent to have a strong collaboration between the media and the judiciary for the enhancement of citizens’ understanding.
She said the interaction was not only important to journalists but also civil society activists, underscoring the importance of openness of the judiciary to build citizens’ trust.
Lots of issues were discussed and recommendations proffered as to how the media and the judiciary could effectively collaborate.