Sierra Leone’s judges welcome electoral justice trainingJan 30, 2018
Fairness, transparency, participation – some of the principles proposed by the Judges and Magistrates when asked what electoral justice means to the
Ahead of March 2018’s Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Councils elections, a three day workshop, ‘Training on bail, sentencing and electoral law and procedure’, took place in Tokeh, outside Sierra Leone’s capital.
The curriculum was developed by the Judicial and Legal Training Institute with support from UNDP’s ‘Promoting Transparency in Sierra Leone’s Judiciary’ and the ‘Conflict Prevention and Mitigation in the Electoral Cycle’ projects. UNDP Country Director, Samuel Doe, opened the first day of training, and commended Chief Justice Charm and Justice Browne-Marke, J.S.C. for their sincere commitment and leadership in the introduction of judicial reforms.
Trainers and trainees examined the perception and reality of corruption, broke down technical jargon in defining electoral justice, and explored international standards.
Justice Monfred Sesay, J.A.C provided insight and debate on Sierra Leone Electoral Law, and Kate Sullivan, UNDP Chief Elections Advisor to the National Electoral Commission (NEC), brought electoral dispute resolution to the table and emphasized how complicated elections have become in regard to technology and new media. She stressed the importance of reasoning, and drew on the case of Kenya.
Justice Browne-Marke assured that the judiciary are prepared for what may come their way, “Participation has been good – Judges and Magistrates have been engaged which shows two things: they are interested in the subject matter and they understand the need to reflect on and improve the methods used in the past.”
UNDP supports this project with thanks to the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) - US State Department, the UK Department of International Development and the UN Peace Building Fund.