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Sierra Leone News: Women are not offenders of crime compares to male -Justice Browne-Marke

Justice Nicholas Browne-Marke has said that women are not offenders of crime compared to their male counterparts who are found in conflict with most serious crimes.
He noted that women are at times trapped in the law due to their vulnerability and low self-esteem caused by lack of education, among others.
Justice Browne-Marke made this statement at AdvocAid Sierra Leone’s one day Duty Counsel Legal Aid workshop at the British Council Seminar Room, Tower Hill.
In her welcome address, AdvocAid Executive Director, Simitie Lavally said their programmes are basically based on legal representation and welfare support for women.
Giving  statistics of their cases for the year 2014/2015, she stated that there were one thousand and eighty seven (1087) female adults with legal representation, and 42 male adults, making a total of 1129, adding that there were also 78 female juveniles and 9 male juveniles, making a total of 87. She said the grand total for female were 1164 whilst it was 51 males, making a total of 1216.
The Director of British Council, Simon Ingram-Hill, on behalf of the European Union (EU) and the British Council said his presence in the workshop is due to their close association with AdvocAid and as partners funding the Justice Matters Project.
He said they have been working together in Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Makeni and Kono and they have been supporting legal representation and capacity building among other areas of AdvocAid.
The Legal Aid Board Executive Director, Mrs. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles said marginalized people have little or nothing to pay for legal representation, stating that there was a need for the legal aid.
She said Legal Aid started in 2008, and in 2002, Parliament enacted the Legal Aid Act and that they started working in May of 2015 after they have established the board.
Madam Carlton-Hanciles said they do lot of criminal cases, adding but little with civil matters due to its intensive nature.
She said government had pledged to sponsor over 149 cases but funding is only available for 30 as of now.
Magistrate Emmanuella Harding, in her contribution on providing legal aid to women and girls in magistrate court, noted that legal aid is pivotal in contributing to the justice system, stating that it will bring equality before the law.
The meeting ended with recommendations for improving legal aid to women and girls.
By Emmanuella Kallon
Wednesday February 03, 2016

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