By SALONE TIMES
Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (KKY) has called for judicial reforms in Sierra Leone. The leader of National Grand Coalition (NGC) made this call in a letter written to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Anthony Brewah
He stated they are aware of the challenges that affect the effective dispensation of fair and transparent administration of justice in our country, pointing out that they include the problem of access to justice, the absence of both individual and institutional independence, judicial corruption, lack of adequate resources, huge backlogs of cases leading to long delays, the inefficiency of staff, and the politicization of the judiciary.
He advised the Attorney General that as the principal legal adviser to the Government of Sierra Leone, he (AG) plays a pivotal role in the administration of justice in Sierra Leone and that they are counting on him that during his tenure of office that he will ensure the rule of law.
Adding that, “I urge you to do your utmost to enforce respect for human rights and access to justice and ensure timely delivery of justice for every Sierra Leonean.”
That there is an urgent need to reform the judiciary, including investing in the infrastructure, equipment, personnel, training, and management and restoring its financial independence by granting it self-accounting status
“I hope you will work with the Honourable Chief Justice to address these challenges and depoliticize the judiciary and protect its independence and integrity,” he mentioned
He revealed that laws in the country are in urgent need of reform as many of them are outdated and anachronistic, urge them to work with the drafting unit within the Law Officers Department and the Law Reform Commission to embark on a wholesale review of the laws of Sierra Leone. He proposed that he will like to see urgent review of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, the supreme law of our country, noting that they should build on the excellent work undertaken by the late Justice Edmond Cowan and revisit the White Paper issued by the previous government.
“Also crucial is the amendment of our laws pertaining to citizenship. The revised law must remove the disqualification of dual citizens from contesting elections as Members of Parliament and allow the election of dual citizens as President, Vice President and Speaker. I also urge you to amend the relevant law to improve on the representation of women in parliament and reduce the time required by public officers to resign before elections,” he added.