Justice Manfred Sesay of the Supreme court of Sierra Leone  has on Thursday 23rd March 2023, explained to key stakeholders involved in the 2023 general elections about the judiciary’s preparedness and constraints in enhancing the electoral justice system in the country

The Honourable Justice explained that the judiciary has taken radical steps to prepare on its part for the resolution of disputes, noting that they had begun putting election case management tools which are geared to living up to expectations for litigants and the public at large.

One such tool he said is the creation of separate divisions of the high court, the elections offenses and petition division will handle both Criminal matters and election disputes.

Justice Sesay further disclosed to participants that the Honourable Chief Justice created these new divisions under section 131 of the constitution of Sierra Leone by the high court divisional amendment constitutional instrument order Act No. 12 of 2022.

He noted that after the creation of those separate divisions, the next would be for the Chief Justice to appoint separate judges to sit on those divisions across the country.

He said that this will make the court easily accessible for potential litigants and the immediate electoral community not to travel too far to access the court in their district.

Justice Sesay continued to explain that the Chief Justice will also appoint supervisory and regional bodies” at the provincial level to monitor those divisions, support them administratively, and prepare their report
but not to be given professional

He however noted that these creations also enhance uniformity, consistency, and certainty in the operation f the high court disclosing this will promote expedition in court cases and transfer.

The other development he explained to stakeholders present during the ceremony is the creation of the Court Committee which is an institution within the judiciary that has made a fair contribution towards the making

of appropriate rules on the conduct of the forthcoming 2023 elections.

Among the contribution, he told stakeholders in the drafting of the public election petition rules 2022, statutory instrument No. 16 of 2022 which was passed by parliament last year. Those instruments he described provide how to approach the court as a Lawyer, which time, and what to do as a lawyer when you approach the court.

Honourable Justice Sesay also told CSOS and other stakeholders present that parliament has also made a tremendous contribution to assist the work of the judiciary in enacting lots of relevant laws to support the judiciary.”

There are also case management tools to enhance the speedy and efficient disposal of cases that they report to us” he

Some of the relevant laws that come to my mind passed by parliament he disclosed
are the Public Elections Act 2022; the Political Parties Act 2022; the Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Act 2022, the Cyber Security Act No.7 of 2021 and the Act National Intelligence 2022, and many more.

He further affirmed that to strengthen the work of the judiciary, especially for the forthcoming general elections in the country it should be funded for speedy access and a post-electoral justice system.