April 14, 2016 By Victoria Saffa
The Chief Justice of Sierra Leone has revealed that they would soon recruit additional Magistrates and Judges, including seven Magistrates from Nigeria, as part of ongoing reform process in that arm of government.
Justice Abdulai Hamid Cham was speaking to a cross-section of newsmen shortly after the opening ceremony of the first judicial conference on ‘Instituting Reform: Improving Services to the Public’ at the Bintumani Hotel in Aberdeen, Freetown, on Tuesday.
He revealed they had written a letter to the Nigeria government requesting for seven magistrates to serve in our jurisdiction, adding that all seven magistrates would preside over courts in Freetown on temporary basis, while the seven Sierra Leonean magistrates would be deployed in the provinces.
He maintained that more legal practitioners would be appointed as judges, adding that Supreme Court judges would henceforth handle matters exclusively relating to their jurisdiction, while Appellate Judges and their counterparts in the High Court would deal with matters within their respective jurisdictions.
He said the need for more Judges and Magistrates cannot be overemphasised because of the increase in population size across the country, adding that four new judges had been appointed to the Court of Appeal, plus three Magistrates.
“One of the reasons why we did not deliver justice speedily [in the past] is because we did not have the manpower to recruit more Magistrates and Judges. If we are able to recruit enough Magistrates and Judges to seat in all the judicial districts, we will have speedy justice,” he assured.
Meanwhile, the conference concluded yesterday, with recommendations from various thematic groups on Law Reporting, Personnel Training, Case Management, Bail and Sentencing, among others, expected to inform a five year strategic plan.