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Sierra Leone News: Lack of funding, judges and magistrates undermines justice – Judiciary

Law courts in Freetown

While presenting the 2019 budget on behalf of the Judiciary at the Bank Complex in Kingtom, Justice Babatunde Edwards said they are faced with a limited number of judges and magistrates to cover all Magistrate and High Courts in the country. He stressed as the body responsible to ensure that justice is done such constraints must be tackled in order to offer speedy trials of cases, which will help the judiciary to maintain its integrity and respect. Justice Edwards added that the issue of inadequate judges and magistrate is not only the problem they are faced with but also cited inadequate logistics, furniture and equipment for the effective and efficient running of the courts. He underscored that they need funds to undergo regular training abroad in court management, ICT, and record management, so as to keep abreast with international standards. He highlighted that the system of self-accounting used by the judiciary which enables it to use its income it generates was abandoned in 1970s and that the budgetary allocation it depends on is inadequate.   Justice Edwards pointed out, “The judiciary is in dire need of money. The fact that the judiciary is not receiving adequate funding means the duty of delivering justice is being undermined.” The judiciary are asking for Le18 billion for the financial year 2019, but the Ministry of Finance gave them a budget ceiling of Le16 billion, which they should work within in term of their activities for the 2019 fiscal year.

MJB/3/10/18

By Mohamed J. Bah

Thursday October 04, 2018.

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