The Justices of the Peace will be working at the Board’s satellite offices – Community Advisory Bureaus – in Grassfield and Caningo in Lumley in Freetown. Both have been Justices of the Peace for periods ranging from ten to sixteen years.
The Justices will start work with immediate effect. One will be assigned to the Community Advisory Bureau in Canningo the other in Grassfield, both in Lumley. They will be the first Justices of the Peace to work in the Bureaus.
The two are joining the Board at a crucial time when it is looking for volunteers who have both the experience and the time to provide primary legal aid services such as Mediation, Referrals, Provision of Information and Legal Empowerment.
Since the Board started establishing Bureaus in the Western Area in February 2017, it has been struggling to find unpaid volunteers to run them. For now, most of those who have time to work at the Bureaus are retirees. Aside from the fact that they are few, they do not have the energy to put in forty hours per week. As a result, they cannot cope with the number of complaints they receive per day.
The Community Advisory Bureaus are aimed at empowering communities to take ownership of the justice needs of their community through the provision of advice and legal assistance to those accessing the formal and informal justice system, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Referrals of matters to the competent justice institution and legal empowerment through community outreach.