LAB get two Justices of the Peace for satellite offices

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms.Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has hailed the decision of two Justices of the Peace, Reverend Canon Julius J. Coker and Festus B. Graham for expressing interest in working with Board as volunteers.

 ‘I hope other Justices of the Peace will follow your example by working with the Board to promote access to justice in the community and by extension contribute to peace and development,’ she said.

The Justices of the Peace will be working at the Board’s satellite offices – Community Advisory Bureaus – inGrassfieldand Caningo in Lumley in Freetown. Both have been Justices of the Peace for periods ranging from ten to sixteen years.

The Justices will start work with immediate effect. One will be assigned to the Community Advisory Bureau in Canningo the other in Grassfield, both in Lumley. They will be the first Justices of the Peace to work in the Bureaus.

The two are joining the Boardat a crucial time when it is looking forvolunteers who have both the experience and the time to provide primary legal aid services such as Mediation, Referrals, Provision of Information and Legal Empowerment.

Since theBoard started establishing Bureaus in the Western Area in February 2017, it has been struggling to find unpaid volunteers to run them. For now, most of those who have time to work at the Bureaus are retirees. Aside from the fact that they are few, they do not have the energy to put in forty hours per week.As a result, they cannot cope with the number of complaints they receive per day.

The Community Advisory Bureaus are aimed at empowering communities to take ownership of the justice needs of their community through the provision of advice and legalassistance to those accessing the formal and informal justice system, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Referrals of matters to the competent justice institutionand legal empowerment through community outreach.

on 06 October 2018