The newly appointed Chief Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm and two new Supreme Court judges – Justice Finda Nyawo Matturi-Jones and Justice Adeliza Showers – were on Thursday 21 January sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court at a brief ceremony held at State House.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara who presented the judges said the appointees had successfully gone through parliament and that the newly appointed Chief Justice is the first Alumni of the Sierra Leone Law School to occupy that position.
Congratulating the appointees, President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma urged them to be fully aware of their responsibilities, and said that the perception of the masses about the huge challenges of the country’s justice system needs to be changed.
“Because it is as a result of these perceptions (delays and access to justice) that when surveys are conducted every year, we come out ranking very low.” These are perceptions we have to change in the minds of the people, he further stressed.
The president assured of government’s continued support to improve on the prevailing situation of magistrates and the judiciary as a whole so that Sierra Leone’s justice system may stand tall within the sub-region. “But this has to be done with your full cooperation,” he pointed out.
He went on to reiterate government’s commitment to guarantee the independence of the judiciary to effectively dispense justice, especially now that it is full of capable and efficient personnel.
On behalf of his colleagues, Justice Abdulai Hamid Charm assured the president and the general public that in consonance with the oath he has taken, he will do his utmost to live up to the expectations of not just the president, but also the entire citizenry.
He said he was aware of the challenges facing the judiciary and that he was with the firm hope and belief that with the cooperation of his colleagues they would be able to create the difference in making the judiciary the pride of the nation.
He promised to hit the ground running and that in consultation with the Attorney General, he pledged that within the next hundred days they will map out a strategy to ensure that justice is quickly and fairly delivered to the expectations of the general public.