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Delayed Justice: Causes and Consequences

Delayed Justice: Causes and Consequences

It is an open secret that in Sierra Leone, justice is often times delayed, and consequently, denied. Many foreign investors who fall victim to fraudsters have their cases over delayed in our courts and some impatient ones abandon their cases and return home with awful stories about the country.

We have investigated and found out that the delayed justice that characterizes our judicial system is primarily due to the incontrovertible fact that the country is suffering severely from an acute shortage of lawyers, making magistrates and judges very scarce, while the courts overflow with cases. Many district headquarter towns in this country are going without resident magistrates, not to talk about judges. The ever growing numbers of cases in those towns are adjudicated by roving magistrates who are overloaded with work and receive unattractive salaries.

The situation is being worsened by the inescapable fact that very few lawyers are trained in the country as the cost involved in pursuing a law degree is far beyond the affordance of most Sierra Leoneans and the generally deplorable state of our educational standard has left many students unqualified and unfit to read law as a profession even if the fees were affordable.

The shortage of magistrates and judges has caused cases to accumulate in the courts as a single magistrate or judge would have dozens of cases to adjudicate, this often results in the delaying of justice, a situation which has led many to lose confidence in our judicial system, little wonder many people resort to sorcery, witchcraft, fetish and other supernatural means to seek redress.

We are advising government to try to train more lawyers as this will help speedup justice delivery.

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