Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications, Chief Justice Conference Room, Law Courts Building, Freetown, 6th October 2021: The Sierra Leone Court Reporters Association (SLCR) has today presented a plaque of honour to the Honourable Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards in appreciation for organizing the first professional training for Court Reporters across the country.
The training was held in June this year at the former Special Court building in Freetown to acquaint the Reporters with Legal Terminologies; the Challenges of Court Reporting, Accessing Court Files and Officials; News gathering and reporting techniques; Civil and Criminal trials and the Divisions of the Court among host of other topics.
According to them, the training has guided and improved on their professional work as journalists.
Presenting the team to the Hon. Chief Justice, the Head of Communications, Judiciary of Sierra Leone, Elkass Sannoh, said the leadership of the association approached him to be given access to the Hon. Chief Justice to commend him for providing capacity training for them as Court Reporters. He said they affirmed that the training provided by the Judiciary through the Judicial and Legal Training Institute has positively impacted their work as journalists.
In his brief statement, the Secretary General of the Association, Salifu Conteh thanked the Chief Justice for the premium his administration has placed on the pivotal role played by journalists in the democratic space.
He said, “We want to thank you for granting us this privilege to be trained. We’ve been yearning for it for quite a long time. We only asked for a day but you gave us two days that was heavily loaded. We enjoyed everything and the facilitators were excellent in their delivery.”
He went on to note that even though the Association had loved to have the Hon. Chief Justice in attendance during the training, his absence didn’t deter the training as the team from the Judicial and Legal Training Institute made the training a huge success.
Handing over the plaque with wonderfully inscripted words, the Vice President of the Association, Aminash Brima commended the Chief Justice for what she referred to as the “freest space” ever to be given to journalists in the Judiciary’s history to access court files and prompt responses to concerns from the public through the Communications Department of the Judiciary.
In his remarks, the Hon. Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards thanked the Association for their kind consideration and gesture. He urged them to work together in the interest of the country and the greater good of all.
“The training that was done was well planned and excellently executed under my watch by the Judicial and Legal Training Institute for the first time. We want you to continue doing your job professionally for the good of this nation,” he admonished.
He said his administration has been centered around transparency and accountability which is why he was interested in providing court reporters the requisite training in furtherance of that goal.
He urged them to always feel free reporting on the proceedings and activities of the court, adding that they should channel any concerns to the Communications Department for immediate action. He assured them of more support and encouraged them to be always professional in reporting the truth.
For more information, contact the Judiciary Communications on +23234617548, +23276321184, +23279101086