Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 January 2019:
The body representing Barristers in Sierra Leone – the Sierra Leone Bar Association, has today filed a 20-page Supreme Court action, seeking an interpretation of the country’s Constitution with regards the rules governing the establishment of commissions of inquiry in Sierra Leone.
In a public statement announcing its decision to take action in the Supreme Court, published today, the Bar Association said that in accordance with Section 150 of the Constitution, a committee of judges chaired by the Chief Justice – known as the Rules of Court Committee “is the sole authority empowered and authorised in Sierra Leone to make rules relating to the practice and procedure of all Commissions of Inquiry”.
By making up the rules governing the proposed commissions of inquiry themselves, the government, the Bar Association says, has contravened the provision set in the Constitution.
But the Bar Association says that “it is fully supportive of a fair and independent commission of inquiry, aimed at bringing to account all those involved in corrupt practices”.
The commission of inquiry into allegations of corruption by former minsters and public officials in the Koroma-led APC government, is to commence sitting in the next few weeks.
It is not certain whether the government will now suspend its sitting until the Supreme Court concludes its deliberations on the action brought by the Bar Association today.
This is the public statement published by the Bar Association: