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Sierra Leone Legal Aid Act, 2012

By: Namati

On May 10, 2012 the Sierra Leone Parliament enacted one of the most progressive legal aid laws in Africa. The bill provides for a mixed model of criminal and civil legal aid, from provision of legal information and mediation services through to representation in court, and supplied through a public/private partnership of government, private sector and civil society.

The law, for which consultations began in 2008, is distinctive in several respects. Its most unique feature is its endorsement of paralegals, university law clinics, civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations, alongside legal practitioners, as providers of legal aid services. By explicitly providing that paralegals are to be deployed in each of Sierra Leone’s 149 chiefdoms, the law ensures that a flexible and cost effective method of delivering justice services to large parts of the population will be available to help reduce the present access to justice deficit.

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Uploaded on: Oct 24, 2012
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
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