By Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications
Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards has called for more interaction between Judges and Lawyers to ensure the effective administration of Justice.
“The judge – lawyer relationship implies the cordial but respectful relationship that should exist between judges and lawyers as both play an important role in the administration of justice or effective delivery of justice,” he said.
Describing the relationship between the Bench and the Bar as one of “mutual respect,” he stressed that a continued existence of cordial relationship between the two is pivotal in the effective administration of justice.
The Chief Justice further noted that “as officers of the court, the lawyers are required to maintain a respectful attitude toward the bench bearing in mind that the dignity of the judicial office is sine qua non to the existence proper and effective administration of justice.”
He added that while the primary duty of Judges is to administer justice among other things with the assistance of lawyers, lawyers as officers of the court have a duty to assist the court in the administration of justice.
Justice Edwards explained the set criteria to be Lawyer or Legal Practitioner in Sierra Leone and for a judge he said that, “to be a Judge would imply that a particular person is entitled to practice as counsel in a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in Sierra Leone or any other country having a system of law analogous to that of Sierra Leone and approved by the Judicial and Legal Service Commission for a period of at least 10 years for a High Court Judge, 15 years standing for an Appeal Court Judge and 20 years standing for a Supreme Court Judge.”
He thanked the president and members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association for inviting him as a special guest to join this year’s celebration marking yet another Annual Bar Conference.
In his keynote address on the topic: “The Legal Profession and the Restoration of Hope,” the Hon. Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said development can only take place where there is a stable political and social order and therefore there is a resounding need to strengthen the Rule of Law.
“The rule of law is essential in building a democratic state and the only way to rebuild a state is to democratise it,” said Hon. Vice President Dr. Juldeh Jalloh.
He went further to say that the justice sector has been confronted with serious challenges that have limited it capacity to administer justice.
In her vote of thanks, the Sierra Leone Bar Association President, Madam Michaela Eddinia Swallow thanked the Vice President for honouring the invite to grace the annual conference. She also commended the Chief Justice and colleagues at the Bar.
“I rest assure you all that you’ll not be disappointed,” she concluded