Sierra Leone delivers access to Justice
Access to Justice is a public good. In much the same way that education and health services are essential in all settings, whether in times of peace, conflict or post-conflict, so too is access to Justice.
Women’s access to Justice is an important component of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and the maintenance of peace & security.
Women’s access to Justice is often impeded by gender discriminatory legal frameworks and social norms, gender bias, in the delivery of Justice and a failure to systematically ensure that judicial mechanisms are physically, economically, socially and culturally accessible to all women.
Our Government, led by H.E Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, has legislated laws against gender discrimination laws.
Discrimination in family and property rights have been addressed through reforms in the Domestic Violence Act, 2007, the Devolution of Estates Act, 2007, the Registration of Customary Marriage and Divorce Act, 2009 and the Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
The Legal Aid Board has been established under the Legal Aid Act, 2012 to provide for affordable legal aid services for the disadvantaged. Today, we have Legal Aid Offices in almost every District of the country. Since, January 2017 to July 2017, the Legal Aid Board has handled a record high number of complaints, that is 55, 000 nationwide.
Today, 5th July 2017, the Sierra Leone Parliament passed a Constitutional Amendment that conferred citizenship to children born outside of the country to Sierra Leonean mothers. Prior to this only children born to Sierra Leonean fathers outside of the country were eligible for citizenship. The impact of this is equality before the law for all, gender parity at best.
As a Government, we are proud of our record in delivering access to Justice.
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