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15th August 2018

Sierra Leone's First Lady Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Takes Oath of Office!

By a press release (13/06/18)

The newly appointed Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Dr Priscilla Schwartz has taken oath of office at State House yesterday.


Shortly after taking the oath, Madam Schwartz, the first ever lady to occupy this covetted office, thanked President Bio for appointing her into her new office. She said the new direction represents change which she is determined to move forward. The new Minister of Justice pledged her commitment to work in accordance with the vision of President Bio. (Photo: Historic as Justice Minister Priscilla appends her signature as happy President Bio looks on).

Following her appointment on Monday June 11, 2018 BY President Julius Maada Bio after suddenly sacking the mercurial politician Charles Margai, Priscilla said. "Your Excellency, I want to use this opportunity to thank you for the trust and confidence that you have placed in me. I want to sincerely pledge that I will serve you faithfully and the new direction. I will do my best to be one of the vehicles that will move the new direction forward."

On his part, President Bio congratulated the new Attorney General on her appointment. He said the task ahead is a bit challenging and everyone must be ready to make Sierra Leone a beautiful place on earth. He noted that he cannot do it alone and that's the reason he is bringing other compatriots onboard to move his administration forward.

"We must use the new direction to develop this nation. It is a collective responsibility and that is the reason I am bringing you all onboard. We must make Sierra Leone the best place on earth for direct investment where contracts are honoured, an open society is created and the rule of law is maintained. As you assume office today, let me wish you the best and assure you of my utmost support," he ended.

Less than two months in office, the sacked Attorney General, Charles Margai has become the country’s shortest-lived holder of the position ever. The dismissal of the former presidential candidate comes amid dissatisfaction by some members of the judiciary over his apparently bellicose posture. While some have hailed the move to dismiss him saying it’s a sign the new president is proving decisive, others have called his judgment into question by appointing him in the first place.

Dr Schwartz is a Doctor of Laws and the only woman to achieve such an academic feat so far in the country. She brings into the new office wealth of academic and professional experience both local and international. Until her appointment, she worked as a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Energy and Natural Resources Law (Masters of Laws LLM) Programme at the College of Professional Services, Royal Docks School of Business and Law in the United Kingdom (2007-2912); Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom (2008-2011); School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, United Kingdom (2011-2013).

Courtesy: State House Media and Communications Unit;+232(88)269282/+232(76)267664

Meet the New Sierra Leone Attorney General and Minister of Justice

Dr Priscilla Schwartz has recently joined the Faculty of Law as a lecturer. Priscilla is the LLM Module convenor of Law and Organisation of the World Trading System (LW7170) and Contemporary Legal Problems of World Trade (LW7015). She also teaches undergraduate Contract Law and Law of Tort.

Dr Schwartz holds degrees from the University of Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay College, (BA, LLB(Hons)) and the University of London, King’s College and Queen Mary College (LLM and PhD) respectively. She is an expert in Public International Law and is also a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.

Prior to her joining the staff at Leicester in 2007, Priscilla taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Queen Mary, University of London, where she also designed and developed courses for LLM and MA by research programmes. Priscilla also worked as State Counsel to the government of Sierra Leone between 1996-2001, where she served as Personal Assistant to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice. She represented the government on several domestic and international assignments and was instrumental in the setting up of the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone, including the negotiation and drafting of its Statute and Agreements. She also initiated and coordinated implementation of projects for the development of the rule of law.

Dr Schwartz has keen research interests in international law and policy in areas of development, environment and economic issues and how these especially affect developing countries. Her most recent book is Sustainable Development and Mining in Sierra Leone (2006) Her current research project is entitled International Institutions, International Corporations & Third World Natural Resources: An Uneven Environmental Alliance?


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