The Bo District Criminal Justice Task Force, with support from the Justice Sector Coordination Office (JSCO) of the Ministry of Justice, will be launching the Criminal Case Management Pilot Project in Bo, on Saturday at the Methodist Youth Resource Centre.
The Attorney General & Minister of Justice of Sierra Leone, the Chairman of the Bo District Council, the Resident Minister, the Provincial Secretary, the Resident Magistrate, the Regional Commander of the Sierra Leone Police and the Paramount Chief, Bo Kakua Chiefdom, all from the Southern Province; the Assistant Director of the Sierra Leone Prisons Service, and representatives from Civil Society, are expected to grace this occasion.
The Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Mrs. Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh, will deliver the keynote address.
This Bo Pilot Project, which focuses on Criminal Case Management aims to enhance communication, coordination and cooperation between the various justice sector institutions, to provide opportunity for regular monitoring and evaluation of the system.
It would also provide training for personnel within the sector to improve capacity and ultimately, output. Furthermore, the project, which will initially run for six months, seeks to address some of the major problems within the criminal justice system in the District and the lessons learnt will be invaluable in replicating similar projects nationwide.
The Criminal Case Management Best Practice Handbook would serve as a guide to this pilot project.
The Best Practice Handbook was developed primarily to identify the bottlenecks within the criminal justice system in Sierra Leone which are the cause of the high number of remand prisoners, resulting in deprivation of justice.
As a follow up to some of the handbook recommendations, the JSCO undertook to implement several low budget/cost effective initiatives to address the problems and identified the Bo District as a suitable pilot location.
In order to enhance the implementation of best practices in the delivery of justice, the Handbook outlines the various major phases in the criminal justice process of Sierra Leone.
It provides information to all operational practitioners in the Criminal Justice sector on how cases might be managed more effectively from investigation and arrest, to conclusion.
It is useful not only to the police, judges and lawyers, but also to administrative staff, in order to ensure that cases are dealt with in the shortest possible time and in a fair and transparent manner.
The Handbook is quite simple and those unfamiliar with the criminal justice process will feel able to refer to it.
The Criminal Case Management project would not only provide better access to service delivery to the poor, vulnerable and marginalised, but would also improve the public’s confidence and trust, in the justice system of Sierra Leone.