Judiciary Comms Unit: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 November 2021:
The Judiciary of Sierra Leone wishes to inform the general public that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on the 9th November, 2021 released a globally recognised Report titled ‘2021 Country Scorecard.’ (Photo above: Chief Justice Edwards)
The 2022 Country Performance Scorebook is the 19th publication of country performance data since the establishment of the MCC. The MCC Scorecard includes data on 81 countries with indicators such as Control of Corruption, Civil Liberties or Political Rights and the Rule of Law among host of other indicators.
As part of the many reforms, the Judiciary has deployed Magistrates in all Districts; Deployed Judges in places where there were no sitting Judges; Conducted effective and regular High Court Criminal Sessions geared towards decongesting correctional centers; Established specialized Courts such as Anti-Corruption Court, Social Security Court, Sexual Offences Model Court and now the Small Claims Court; Conducted regular, speedy and fair hearings at the Magistrate, High, Appeal and Supreme Courts with Judgments/Rulings being uploaded on the Website; Revised and updated Courts’ fees consistent with accessibility and expeditious justice delivery and established for the first time a virtual Court to digitalize the Judiciary among others.
Pursuant to these gains, the MCC rating with 63 percent pass in the Rule of Law with 92 percent ranking in both Civil and Political Rights ahead of countries such as Cameron, Mozambique, Chad, Eritrea, Guinea Bissau, Korea, Yemen and Mali among host of other countries has recognized the unprecedented development so far.
“This is welcoming not only for us as a Judiciary but as the nation to pass 13 out of 20 indicators. It shows that the Judiciary is an independent arbiter of disputes between parties and these disputes are decided on the basis of the relevant law, which includes the constitution of Sierra Leone,” said the Hon. Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, adding that, “The Judiciary will continue to be apolitical in the administration of Justice including the upholding of the rule of law which has been demonstrated in the MCC Report.”
The MCC’s expert assessments looked at the extent to which the public has confidence in and abides by the rules of society; the incidence and impact of violent and nonviolent crime; the effectiveness, independence, and predictability of the judiciary; the protection of property rights; and the enforceability of contracts.
The MCC is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty and uses an analytically-rigorous methodology and objective, high quality data in their assessments and ratings.
In line with its constitutional mandate, the Judiciary would continue to serve the people of Sierra Leone as provided for in the 1991 Constitution from which its mandate is derived.
Author: Sierra Leone Judiciary Communications s Unit, Freetown.