7.1 Overview The true mark of any democracy can be measured by its citizens’ commitment to the supremacy of the rule of law. This supremacy dictates that justice will be dispensed with fairness and citizens will have access to redress if there is any doubt as to the fair application of the law. The inequitable applications of the law and the lack of fair access to the judicial system have been some of the reasons that have contributed to undermining the rule of law in Sierra Leone.
The ability of the judiciary to properly dispense with justice has been handicapped by:
Extremely unattractive salaries and poor conditions of service Corruption
When in government, the APC will:-
a) establish clear procedures to ensure an independent, impartial and autonomous judiciary.
b) separate the offices of the Minister of Justice and that of of the Attorney-General.
c) ensure expeditious dispensation of justice
Our government will achieve these by:-
a) ensuring a proper functioning of the judicial system by discouraging political interference in all spheres of governance including Anti-Corruption Commission which shall be given the power to prosecute
b) setting up Special Rapid response courts that will adjudicate in land issues, small claims courts to settle disputes which otherwise have created bottle-necks in the legal system.
c) Supporting the work of the Law Reform Commission, the Justice sector development programme and other reformatory institutions to review laws that have no relevance in today’s Sierra Leone.
16. HUMAN RIGHTS
Human rights have become an issue of great importance in contemporary times. This explains why it has come to occupy such an important and prominent place in State governance, the world over. Much of the misery and injustice of our time is the result of the reckless use of power. The abuse of power is a human problem and nobody seems to have a built-in immunity from its corrosive effect. An APC Government is committed to limiting this tendency by ensuring the sanctity of life and the dignity of man.
The factors that characterized this sector are:-
Widespread violation of human rights
Lack of knowledge about human rights
Ineffective state institutions to adequately address human rights abuses.
Political dispensation that cannot guarantee the human rights of all Sierra Leoneans
The APC Government will:-
a) meet internationally accepted standards of promoting and protecting the rights and dignity of every man, woman and child.
b) protect, promote and respect all Sierra Leoneans from the violation of their human rights so that the true ideals of democracy can be realised.
Such objectives as above shall be attained by :-
a) supporting institutions where they exist for the protection of human rights.
b) promoting a credible political dispensation that will guarantee and protect human rights for all by making justice accessible without discrimination.
c) ensuring that human rights laws and institutions created to implement them are supported to function effectively in building a human rights- conscious society in post- conflict Sierra Leone.