The Human Rights Commission in Sierra Leone has been picking the brain of Justice Tholla Thompson on key functions of the commission.
The commission’s chairperson, Mrs Jamesina King, said the commission invited the Judge to provide clarification and help the commission to fully understand the treaty ratification process and domestication of international standards in Sierra Leone both in theory and practice.
She pointed out that after looking at some key functions of the commission like the reviewing of existing legislation and advising government concerning compliance by such legislation with the obligations of Sierra Leone under international treaties or agreements and advising government concerning preparation of periodic reports required by international human rights treaties.
Justice Tholla Thompson accepted that the instruments were ‘nebulous’. He pointed out however that Sierra Leone had lagged behind many other nations to incorporate many human rights instruments into our law books.
The erudite judge also jawed on the issue of primacy given to treaties over the laws of Sierra Leone which is supreme.
The judge also discussed the issue of ratification of treaties and look at the commission’s role of protecting rights contained in treaties or conventions which Sierra Leone was a party to but had not been ratified.
The discussions ended after the Judge decided that he would go back to the commission some other time and expand further on the various clarifications the commission seeks.
He however advised them to veer away from being Sierra Leoneans with cultural orientation and upbringing as citizens of the country, but to see themselves as citizens of the world when they were guarding the rights of people, their core function.