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Bar Association Mediates Law School Dispute

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Bar Association Mediates Law School Dispute

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The Association in a press statement released yesterday Thursday 17th October, expressed concern over the exchange of correspondences between and amongst members of the Council and the naked display of same on social media which according to them, is likely to bring the reputation of the Council into disrepute and public ridicule and by extension, the profession.

The Association holds the view that there would have been more appropriate ways to address the dispute as provided by Section 5 of the Council of Legal Education Act No.1 of 1989.

It can be recalled that on 16th October, the country’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dr. Priscilla Schwartz wrote a letter to the Acting Director of Council of Legal Education, Sierra Leone Law School, Pamela Davies requesting her to proceed on leave with immediate effect.

Key reason raised by the minister relates to “several complaints reported to her office and the media about the alleged malpractices around the conduct of the 2019 Bar Final Exams and related processes. The Minister said a full scale investigation is launched into the activities of the Sierra Leone Law School.

Madam Davies in response said it is only the Council of Legal Education that has the mandate to issue a directive of such nature and that the minister is just one of the ten members of the Council.

She said she therefore find it difficult to understand that one member of the Council could take it upon his/herself to usurp the powers of the Council, which is the sole-governing body of the Sierra Leone Law School.

However, the Association has recommended that any unilateral action be any member of the Council be put on hold until such decision/action is approved by Council; that the principal legislation of Council and the Sierra Leone Law School is the Council of Legal Education Act No. 1 of 1989. Strict adherence or compliance with it provisions by Council or any of its members or the Law School Administration is sacrosanct; that the action of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice requesting the Acting Director of the Law School to proceed on leave with immediate effect which she is yet to legally justify be immediately addressed; and that an independent committee be set up to investigate the allegations made against the Sierra Leone Law School.

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