27th April 2017
Legal Aid Providers Ordered to Fill Accreditation Forms in Sierra Leone
By a press release (09/03/17)
The Legal Aid Board is informing all Legal Aid Providers to have accreditation forms now as the exercise will close on 31st May 2017.
Legal Aid providers are therefore requested to pick up their Accreditation Forms from any of the Legal Aid Board offices around the country. (Pictured: Sierra Leone Justice Minister Joseph F. Kamara).
Those in the Western Area should collect the Forms from the First Floor, Guma Building, Lamina Sankoh Street in Freetown; Northern Province from 39 Lunsar Road in Makeni or 10 Mission Road in Port Loko; Southern Province from 29 Bojong Street in Bo or 4 Gulama Lane in Moyamba and the Eastern Province from 14 Combema Road in Kenema and the New Senbehun Council in Koidu.
The completed Form and supporting documents should be submitted to Legal Aid Board office where it will be picked up from by 31 May 2017. The Forms will be processed in two weeks from date of submission and a certificate will be issued upon meeting the criteria set by the Legal Aid Board.
The Board wishes to refer to Section 37 (2) of the Legal Aid Act 2012 which provides that any person or organization who engages in the provision of legal aid without being accredited commits an offence and will be liable on ‘conviction to a fine not exceeding thirty million leones or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.’
Explaining the benefits of being accredited with the Board, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles said the certificate will be used to recognize credible legal aid service providers, which is needed by both government and donors in dealing or providing support to them.
According to Ms. Carlton-Hanciles accreditation will bring much needed transparency and openness in the operations of legal aid service providers. “It will give an idea of the number of service providers, areas of the country they operate and target beneficiaries. It will also ensure accountability in the sense that people will know the amount of support and funds provided to the service providers and the impact this is having on beneficiaries,” she said.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said that the exercise will help the service providers to coordinate their interventions and this will prevent wastage and duplication of interventions. She noted that even though we do not have the resources including human to services all those who qualify for legal aid, accreditation of service providers will ensure we impact as many people as we possibly can.
The Legal Aid providers are required to pick up Accreditation Forms from the Legal Aid Board office nearest to them.
Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said that on the expiry of the May 31 deadline, donors are required to provide support or funds to those who are accredited and recognized by the Board.