4 July 2011

Sierra Leone: Business Community Visits Commercial Court

Freetown — Members of the business community in the country - including the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture - have paid a working visit to the Fast Track Commercial Court to get firsthand information on its operation.

The Consultant Master and Registry of the Judiciary, Julia Sarkodie-Mensah informed the team that the court's mission was to promote efficiency, transparency and speedy justice delivery in commercial and admiralty litigations.

She said it was the hope of the judiciary that with such intervention, the investment climate in Sierra Leone would be greatly improved, thereby promoting investment and enabling the country to move up the ladder in the World Bank doing business ranking.

"The court is fully automated. Everything in the court is digitally recorded," she said. "A digital copy of the proceedings can be produced after any court hearing. Cases will not be adjourned but if this happens, it will not be for more than 72 hours."

Sarkodie-Mensah informed the visiting team that there is an electronic case management system to ensure that cases are managed properly, while encouraging all to take their cases to the court for speedy justice delivery.

The Fast Track Commercial Court has CCTV cameras to aide possible view of the proceedings. There are real-time court reporters imputing everything that is going on the computers digitally.

The court is mandated to hear and determine claims or disputes in trade and commerce.

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