Sierra Leone: ICJ convenes judicial dialogue on implementation of human rights standards in West Africa

The  ICJ, in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institute of Sierra Leone and the Judiciary of Sierra Leone, hosted a judicial dialogue for effective implementation of global, regional and sub-regional human rights standards.

The event brought together over 40 judges representing the High Courts, Courts of Appeal and Supreme Courts of the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio, addressed the opening ceremony, stressed the critical role of the judiciary and called on the judges to remain focused and independent even in the face of unwarranted criticism.

Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards, for his part,  emphasized the duty of the judiciary to ensure that the protection of internationally guaranteed human rights is not compromised.

Other speakers at the opening ceremony were Sierra Leone’s Attorney-General/Minister of Justice Ms Priscilla Schwartz, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone Ms Patricia Ndanema, and the President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association Mr Basita Michael.

‘‘A core objective of the ICJ is to support the protection of human rights across the globe through the promotion of respect for the rule of law,‘‘ said Arnold Tsunga,  ICJ’s Africa Regional Director.  Tsunga stressed that the programme was initiated based on the ICJ’s conviction that the challenge in Africa is not necessarily a lack of human rights law and standards, but the existence of a huge gap in the implementation.

“The training sessions and judicial dialogue are important to ensure that the quality of supply meets the demand for human rights protection in Africa,” he added.

Working sessions  of the event were facilitated by resources persons, including ICJ Commissioners Justice Jesmina King of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Professor Michelo Hansungule; Dr Chidi Anslem Odinkalu of the Africa office of the Open Society Justice Institute and Madam Hannah Forster, Executive Director of the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies.

The event was enabled through support by the European Union.


 Arnold Tsunga, ICJ Regional Director for Africa, t: +27 716405926 or +263 777 283 249: e: arnold.tsunga(a)

Solomon Ebobrah, Senior Legal Adviser (ARP), t: +234 803 492 7549, e: solomon.ebobrah(a)

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