Posted by: africanpressorganization | 8 July 2010

Sierra Leone / Communiqué from the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice

 


 

 

Sierra Leone / Communiqué from the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice

 

 

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, July 8, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice conducted a two-day workshop in collaboration with the Justice Sector Coordination Office (JSCO) from 17th to 18th June 2010, at the Hotel Barmoi, Aberdeen, Freetown, to look at the overall operations of the Law Officers’ Department.

 

Permanent Secretaries and other officials from the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of Government, senior professionals, practising lawyers and other stakeholders, attended the event.

 

In line with the expectations of the “Agenda for Change”, the Law Officers’ Department continues to position itself to better serve in its role as the Government’s Law Firm; streamline its legislative drafting processes; enhance the interface with MDAs; provide services to the public, including reducing delay; and improving communications and expediting actions on providing better access to justice.

 

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Honourable Abdul Serry-Kamal, in opening the workshop, urged the meeting to critically examine the issues slated for deliberation.

 

Papers were presented on the State Proceedings Act 2000 and its relevance to the Rule of Law; the Government Notice No. 444 1996 and the role of MDAs in Legislative Drafting; the Law Officers’ Act No. 6 of 1965 and the Attorney-General’s Instructions to the Police on the prosecution of cases in the courts.

 

Underlying the entire proceedings at the workshop was the need for an improved understanding and a review of the mechanisms, for MDAs’ forwarding instructions to the Law Officers’ Department for the drafting of legislation.

 

In response to the presentations made on the topic, various insightful comments were made from the floor with respect to justice, the rule of law, and law and order.

 

The participants resolved that recommendations be put forward to the Government for their consideration and action for the effective implementation of policy, geared towards enhancing justice throughout the country.

 

These recommendations included:

 

The abolition of preliminary investigations whereby witnesses testify in Magistrates courts prior to a case being sent to the High Court.

Development of simplified and streamlined court procedures that would accelerate justice, reduce delay and decongest the prisons.

The implementation of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods such as diverting young and first time minor offenders from the Criminal justice system.

Making provision for restorative justice so that offenders could recompense and compensate the victims of their crimes.

The urgent need for collaboration between all Criminal Justice Agencies so that strategic planning and performance monitoring could take place.

Continued provision of workshops or seminars for the stakeholders, to ensure that lessons learned are replicated and disseminated.

 

In order to achieve this, the Attorney General’s Office has now positioned itself to be open, proactive and to provide assistance for, and to collaborate with, other agencies.

 

A full report on the workshop on the operations of the Law Officers’ Department held on 17th and 18th June will be circulated to all Ministries Departments and Agencies of Government.

SOURCE 

Sierra Leone-Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice


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