At the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Institute of International Law was inaugurated as a center intended to create a vehicle through which the interest of the country and others in the sub region on international rule of law can be further explored.
In his inaugural speech foundation member of the Institute Ambassador Allieu Kanu who was also the Chairman of the occasion said that the Institute of International law should also stand as a testament to the very impact that international law can have on the lives of individuals in the betterment of the human condition and on helping countries achieve sustainable peace and prosperity.
Ambassador Kanu stressed that a predictable legal system with a participatory law-making process, impartial law enforcement mechanisms and a fair, transparent and effective adjudication system is essential to the credibility of the law as a means to protect individuals against lawless acts of private individuals and organizations or the arbitrary use of State authority.
The Institute he went on will be a center for “academic excellence on International law in Sierra Leone and the region and will focus on the promotion of fundamental principles of international law and its progressive development.”
The Chairman said that a strong rule of law, requires a strong foundation and fair and effective application of legal rules, and it also requires strong institutions to develop, support, strengthen and defend legal rules.
Ambassador Allieu Kanu added that the fact that the court’s legacy is something it has been concerned about from the very beginning sets the Special Court miles apart from any International court that has come before, and sets the bar very high for those that are coming after it.
He echoed that Special Court is not responsible for the Institute but its presence in the country has greatly contributed to the interest of Sierra Leoneans across the country in International law.
The President of the Institute Justice Abdul Koroma in his statement read by the MC Abdul Rahman Kamara, it was stated that because of the shocking civil war that it endured, the country made and continues to make, notable contributions to the international community’s efforts to curb the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, efforts to combat the child soldier phenomenon, efforts to regulate and combat the global trade in conflict diamonds and develop credible systems of individual accountability to assist societies transiting from “collective trauma” to “collective peace.”
The aims and objectives of the institute President Kamara said was to “investigate and record our contribution to the development of international law. It also aims at disseminating and advocating respect for international law, particularly human rights and international humanitarian law, with a view to ensuring their respect and preventing their violation as we experienced during the civil war.” The Institute he went on also aspires to work with other institutions of human rights, international humanitarian law, international justice, and members of the country’s civil society to contribute to local and international dialogue, to advance the cause of human rights, justice and international rule of law in Sierra Leone. Justice Bankole Thompson one of the vice presidents of the institute said that the establishment of the institute as an autonomous institution, academic and professional entity can be perceived in a collateral context as the realization of a juristic vision of the architects of the Special Court, as an institution designed to arrest and eradicate the phenomenon of impunity that is now regrettably, the bane of modern civilization.