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Advocaid calls for decriminalization of petty offences

24,Nov 2017
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The Advocaid in partnership with Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law (CARL) with funds from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has ended a two day regional conference, at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.   

The conference and project aimed at supporting and contributing to the ongoing justice sector reform process and find ways to expunge the criminalization for petty offences from the laws of Sierra Leone.

At the same time, the conference fostered the opportunity for key stakeholders from and within the Africa region to discuss and document work related to the decriminalization of petty offences in the Africa continent.  

During the conference, Advocaid and Carl presented a research report that tends to impact fundamental awareness on minor offences on human rights and administration of justice in Sierra Leone.

Speaking on the of Justice sector, Supreme Court Judge, Vivian Solomon said the  issue of decriminalizing petty offences  is not only in Africa, but around the world, in respect of the rule of law, human rights and on the other hand protecting the populace.

Vivian described petty offences as minor offences, and the said offence is regarded as summary offence in Sierra Leone. She emphasized that in most common law summary offence is not punishable through criminalization, but by a fine or a custody punishment.

She further stated that petty offences could seat at the magistrate court and not other courts. She referred to Criminal Procedure Act of 1965 Section 92 to ensure justice in country.

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