Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size Default Text Size
 
OOPS. Your Flash player is missing or outdated.Click here to update your player so you can see this content.
Featured Links:
Banner
ExpoNet
EXpoNet Services!
Banner
Subscribe Now
Subscribe Now.
250 LAB trains staff on Alternative Dispute Resolution PDF Print E-mail
Society
Written by Expotimes   
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 22:42

A hundred and twenty-five staff and volunteers of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board including lawyers and paralegals have benefited from a four-day training on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at the Stadium Hostels in Freetown from the 24 to the 27 July 2017.

Other beneficiaries include the WAN POT Comedians, members of the National Youth Coalition and six senior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The latter includes the highest ranking female military officer, Brigadier Kestoria Kabia and the Director of Gender and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Defence Col. Tucker.

The training is aimed at equipping staff and partners with the requisite skills and techniques required for effective and efficient ADR. Moreover, the trainees should be able to use ADR as an alternative to litigation and using effective skill of arbitration, mediation, negotiation and active listening. 

This is seen as a welcome development in the Board’s efforts at expanding primary justice services around the country. The Board has seen a steady increase in the number of people accessing its ADR service provided by staff around the country and fifteen satellite offices – Community Advisory Bureaus – in the capital Freetown since it was introduced in March 2016.

The service accounted for thirty-one percent of beneficiaries of the scheme in 2016. This has increased to sixty-three (63%) percent in the first half of 2017. The preference for the Board’s ADR service over the courts – both formal and informal - could be attributed to accessibility especially for people upcountry. More importantly, it is speedy, less cumbersome, cost free, reconciliatory and devoid of the win-take-all adversity which characterizes the courts.      

This notwithstanding, there have been concerns within the Board about the quality of service delivered by ADR staff, more so upcountry where cases are mediated by paralegals with little training and experience in ADR and conflict resolution.    

This is unlike what obtains in the Freetown office where cases are mediated by two consultants – a Sierra Leonean lawyer of over four decades of practice and a Reverend with vast experience in mediation and civil society activism.

What’s more feedback received by the Legal Aid Board speak of capacity gaps in the quality of service delivered by Paralegals and other staff involved with ADR.

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles is of the belief that while a lot has been achieved in mediating civil matters and minor disputes in the community, at the same time there are challenges relating to issues of law, gender sensitivities and human rights in the manner cases are mediate.

Against this backdrop, prioritizing capacity building for staff did not come as a surprise. It was therefore a huge relief when the Board secured funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to train its staff on mediation.

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles has this to say in advancing reasons for the training:  ‘We cannot shy away from the fact that there have been challenges in the manner ADR is conducted by our staff. Also, there are issues of patriarchy and cultural biases against women in the way justice is delivered in the informal justice sector. People are coming to us because they trust we can address these issues and deliver quality services but we cannot be complacent because we are not there yet. We need to improve on professionalism. This is crucial.’

The former Legal Aid Manager, Justice Ansumana Ivan Sesay presented a paper on Access to Justice, Legal Aid and Alternative Dispute Resolution. He underlined that ADR opens new pathways to resolving disputes which reduces overcrowding that makes court cases unnecessarily slow.

According to Justice Sesay, ADR processes are important to justice systems when effective establishment of alternative means of dispute resolution can significantly reduce the number of minor disputes before the civil courts, helping to improve the availability of judges for cases which must be tried. He added that majority prefer mediation because they do not want to go through the cumbersome criminal and civil justice system.    

The training itself was led by two consultants from the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone - Mrs. Memunata Pratt and Mr. Desmond George Williams.

The following subject areas were covered: Mediation and its Underlying Principle; Understanding Conflicts and Management Styles; Introduction to Conflict and Conflict Resolution; Negotiation, Elements of Negotiation and Negotiation process; Women, Culture and ADR; Introduction to Arbitration, Benefits and Drawbacks, Kinds of Arbitration, Kinds of Arbitration and Sources of Arbitration; Skills of Mediation: Active Listening Skills and communication skills and the importance of communication.

Each subject area was climaxed with a role play to deepen understanding of the trainees. One such is the role play on Mediation which relates to a dispute over a plot of land in the community which two childhood friends were desperate to buy. The case had divided the community in the middle and therefore had the potential to undermine peace and security.

Another role play relates to Arbitration over a contract for the construction of an underpass.  The dispute arose over a claim by the contractors to be paid for extra work before the expiration of the contract.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editorial

26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.

Read more...

Business News

Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone

John D. Okrafo-Smart, Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, speaks to The Worldfolio about the investment opportunities in Sierra Leone and gives his insight into the banking landscape.

Excerpts shared by Sheriff Mahmud Ismail

The Government of Sierra Leone is placing great priority in improving the business climate, enhancing infrastructure and support to private sector development. In line with the government focus, the Central Bank is targeting price stability in support of economic recovery, enhancing monetary policy instruments and liquidity management and also limiting intervention in the foreign exchange market, which will be important to preserve foreign exchange reserves.

The above measures will help in the strengthening of the banking system to support financial intermediation. Commercial banks are thus poised to benefit and take advantage of the improved economic and business environment by offering better services to their customers, including loans and overdrafts and forex to import, thereby creating wealth and boosting government revenue.

Read more...

Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

 

Read more...

Commentary

Dr. Tam Baryoh’s Only Crime!

Boris Johnson as a Journalist worked at The Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers. He edited The Spectator newspaper between 1999 and 2006. He was Member of Parliament for Henley from 2001 to 2008 and was also Mayor of London. He is a member of the Conservative Party and the current UK Foreign Secretary.

Nnamdi Azikiwe was to serve as the first president of independent Nigeria from 1963 to 1966. He opened and edited a number of newspapers in Ghana and Nigeria and later became an active politician. Obafemi Awolowo was a great Nigerian politician. He also was an active journalist and edited The Nigerian Worker, amongst other publications.

There is a clear link between politics and journalism though, there seems to be a very thin boundary, or perhaps, “a reflective door in the firewall, such that with time, politicians and journalists cross the line changing roles and moving from side to side,” argues Aminat Afolabi in a piece, titled ‘Politics and Journalism, the Interwoven Relationship between Them.”

Read more...

View Point

The APC Convention: A political façade, if not a joke!

Thanks to AYV partnered by AFCOM, I was able to followthe live coverage of the APC and SLPP conventions on my mobile phone from my base in the UK.It was good that both conventions took place simultaneously last week end (October 15-16, 2017) because, at the very least, it provided the opportunity to those keenly following the two historic events to compare and contrast them, not least in terms of democratic processes and procedures. Let me start by talking about how I saw the APC convention held in Makeni, then compare,and contrast it with what I saw at the SLPP convention held in Freetown.

Read more...

News - Press Release

EU Election Exploratory Mission meets Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

(MFAIC Press Office, 18th October, 2017). The European Union Election Exploratory Mission to Sierra Leone led by Head of European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, H.E. Tom Vens has paid a working visit to the Minister, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara and Senior Management Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the Ministry’s office in Tower Hill, Freetown.

Ambassador Tom Vens stated that the EU Election Exploratory Mission is in Sierra Leone following an invitation by the Government of Sierra Leone for EU Electoral assistance, and to further discuss the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in facilitating EU Observer Mission for the March 2018 elections in the country. The EU Election Exploratory Missionas part of its mandate is in the country to draft and finalise the MOU with the Government of Sierra Leone through the Foreign Ministry.

Read more...

Society -Local News

The State of World Population 2017: Unchecked inequality and failure to protect the rights of poorest women could undermine peace and world’s development goals, new UNFPA report warns

• Only about half of the world’s women hold paid jobs

• Globally, women earn 77 per cent of what men get

• Three in five women worldwide lack maternity leave, many pay “motherhood penalty”

Freetown, SIERRA LEONE, 17 October 2017-Unless inequality is urgently tackled and the poorest women empowered to make their own decisions about their lives, countries could face unrest and threats to peace and development, according the The State of World Population 2017, published today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

The costs of inequalities, including in sexual and reproductive health and rights, could extend to the entire global community’s goals, adds the new UNFPA report, entitled, “Worlds Apart: Reproductive Health and Rights in an Age of Inequality.”

Read more...

Development

U.S. Ambassador launches National Early Warning Systems Project, funded by USAID

On Wednesday, October 18, U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Maria E. Brewer, announced the official launch of the USAID West Africa-funded “Mitigating Election Violence through National Early Warning Systems” (NEWS) project and the inauguration of the National Elections Response Group in Sierra Leone.

Supported by $500,000 from USAID, NEWS is implemented by the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Sierra Leone. The focus is to monitor and identify potential electoral violence triggers and assist government and non-government organizations in Sierra Leone to better mitigate them.
The National Elections Response Group (NERG) is a partnership under the NEWS project, between WANEP, the Inter-Religious Council, the Campaign for Good Governance, government stakeholders, representatives from the National Electoral Commission, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Office of National Security (ONS) and a number of civil society organizations.

The primary objective of the National Elections Response Group (NERG) is to monitor the elections environment, develop, and recommend strategies and actions to relevant stakeholders with authority to implement necessary response actions to prevent escalation of tensions or incidence of violence for a peaceful 2018 election. Members of the NERG will work closely with WANEP, the Integrated Election Security Planning Committee under the ONS, Provincial and District Election Security Committees – PROSEC and DISEC with an extensive network of civil society organizations and with 60 community monitors across the country to identify potential risks of electoral violence.

Read more...

Politics

PRESIDENT KOROMA SAYS… “I am very proud of Ansumana Usman Koroma”

President Dr Ernest BaiKoroma has informed Sierra Leoneans that, “I am very proud that we have people like Ansumana. We need many more Ansumana Usman Koromas that will go out there as Ambassadors of our country, showing and telling a good story about Sierra Leone.”

Whilst speaking at his Presidential office in Freetown, President Koroma affirmed that, “I am very proud of Ansumana and I am encouraging him to do more by helping his people.”

Read more...
Copyright © 2017 expotimesonline. All rights reserved.