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LAB urge new judge to reduce overcrowding in prisons

LAB urge new judge to reduce overcrowding in prisons
Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has urged the outgoing Legal Aid Manager of the Legal Aid Board, Mr. Ansumana Ivan Sesay to take advantage of the proposed Bail and Sentencing Guidelines to reduce the overcrowding in the prisons.  ‘The proposed Bail and Sentencing Guidelines are very good; we believe if it is interpreted to the letter the prison population will reduce considerably,’ she said.   Ms. Carlton-Hanciles lamented that far too many of the Board’s clients charged with minor offences like loitering and ‘mammy cuss’ are denied bail on very trivial ground and where they do it is very difficult to find sureties. She thanked Justice Sesay for the exemplary leadership while serving the Board. ‘We will miss your humility, energy and passion to seek justice for accused persons,’ she said. ‘Be assured the Board lawyers you have trained will continue in your footsteps.’  Mr. Ansumana Ivan S…
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LAB to train partners on Bail and Sentencing Guidelines

LAB to train partners on Bail and Sentencing Guidelines The Legal Aid Board and partners in the Western Area will converge on the British Council for a two-day training workshop on the proposed Bail and Sentencing Guidelines on the 11 and 12 July 2017. The seventy participants for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded workshop will be drawn from the Council of Tribal Headmen, legal aid service providers, human rights organizations, Sierra Leone Labour Congress, Sierra Leone Motor Drivers Union, Sierra Leone Traders Council, civil society organizations and the Inter-religious Council of Sierra Leone. The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Claire Carlton-Hanciles has welcomed the proposed Bail and Sentencing Guidelines in changing perceptions about the judiciary which is seen as unfair and punitive. She described the workshop as an opportunity for partners of the Board to be educated on the proposed Bail and Sentencing Guidelines so as to understand how they …

LAB and Office of Ombudsman sign MOU

LAB and Office of Ombudsman sign MOU



The Legal Aid Board and the Office of the Ombudsman have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which formalizes the relationship between the two institutions with the aim of addressing the justice needs of people. The signing took place in the morning in the conference room of the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice on Wednesday, 28 June 2018 in the presence of journalists and staff of both institutions. The MOU will see one institution refer complaints to the other based on their respective mandate.  This means the Office of the Ombudsman will refer complaints which fall within the mandate of Legal Aid Board. The Board in turn will do the same for complaints which fall under the Office of the Ombudsman. In his statement prior to signing the MOU, the new Ombudsman, Lawyer Melron Nilcol-Wilson said his Office has complaints which fall within the mandate of the Legal Aid Board.  He noted that in the past, complaints which do not fall u…

LAB calls on stakeholders in the East to invest in the Bureaus

LAB calls on stakeholders in the East to invest in the Bureaus.            

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has called on the stakeholders in Wellington and Calaba Town in the East of the capital Freetown to do more to support the Community Advisory Bureaus (CAB) in their respective Wards if they should become relevant to the people. The call follows a joint assessment of the fifteen Bureaus in the capital Freetown by the Public Relations and the Outreach and Community Affairs Departments. The report shows that nine of the fifteen Bureaus are performing below expectations in terms of addressing the justice needs of the community. The reports notes that the Bureaus in Wards  391, 393 and 394 covering Pipeline, Thompson Bay, UN Drive, Scan Drive, Caningo, Sheriff Drive, Wilkinson Road and Grassfield in Lumley in the West and Wards 346 in Calaba Town, 355 in Wellington and 356 in Kuntolor in the East of the capital are performing satisfacto…

LAB calls for support to Advisory Bureaus

LAB calls for support to Advisory Bureaus
The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has called for urgent support to the newly established Citizens Advisory Bureaus in Freetown. The Board has opened fifteen Bureaus since February 2017, all in the capital Freetown. This will continue until they are established in all the 394 Wards in the country. 
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles warned that the Bureaus could struggle to create maximum impact if people do not contribute to their upkeep and sustenance.  She encouraged members of the public to copy the example of a staff of the Office of National Security (ONS) who donated money to the Bureau in Ward 393 in Grassfield, Lumley. ‘People should take ownership of the Bureaus because they belong to them, the Board is only the architect,’ she said. ‘The reception has been very positive, but this is not being translated into support needed to keep the Bureaus up and running. The Bureaus need stationery, furniture and…

AG launch Legal Aid Board in Kono with a promise to empower women

AG launch Legal Aid Board in Kono with a promise to empower women The Attorney General and Minister of Justice (AG), Hon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara launched the Legal Aid Board in Kono by assuring the people that the government is committed to recognizing the rights of women. The AG traced the history of legal aid to an encounter between the Lord Jesus Christ and a group of Pharisees who had sought his advice in relation to a woman caught committing adultery and therefore doomed to death by stoning. He said the Government established the Legal Aid Board because it believes in providing legal aid to the poor and vulnerable who cannot afford to hire a lawyer and other costs that go with accessing the justice system. ‘For the first time since independence, government is providing legal aid to its people,’ he said. ‘Also, we have a lawyer who is resident in the District to cater for the justice needs of the people.’ The AG noted the government has established a Magistrate Court to ensure peo…

LAB boss in Vienna to discuss access to Justice

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles left the shores of Sierra Leone on Sunday, May 21 for Vienna, Austria to attend a conference to examine challenges to measuring the Sustainable Development Goals (SGD) target 16.3 on access to justice at national and international level. In particular, it will discuss what the current indicators say about access to justice in the various countries and the work of international organizations, government bodies and civil society on how to measure effectively access to justice and pretrial detention practices. The meeting is a side event organized by the Open Society Justice Initiative and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Research and Justice Sections during the UNODC Crime Commission Session in Vienna, Austria. The side event is support by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Legal Aid Board of Sierra Leone.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles will be one of four speakers at the side event. The other…