24.4 C
Sierra Leone
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Judiciary Commences 2 Days Training For Court Reporters On Professional Court Reporting

Must Read

Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications, Peace Museum, Special Court Complex, Jomo Kenyatta Road, Freetown, 17th June 2021: The Judiciary of Sierra Leone in collaboration with SLAJ has for the first time commenced a two-day training for Court Reporters across the country on Court Proceedings and Professional Court Reporting.

In his address to declare the training officially open, the acting Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Nicholas Browne-Marke said the Judiciary is not concerned about favourable media coverage but with accurate and impartial reporting of what happens in the Courts.

“We in the Judiciary, are not asking for favourable coverage of what we do in Court, or of what happens in the Courts. We are asking that what we do, be reported accurately,” Hon. Justice Browne-Marke stated.

According to him, the Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards who’s currently attending the5th High Level Meeting of Chief Justices and Heads of Constitutional Courts in Africa held in Cairo, Egypt, had been very much instrumental in organising the first training session but he’s unavoidably absent for which he sends his unreserved apologies.

Giving the purpose of the training, Hon. Justice Browne-Marke stated that Court reporting is extremely important not just for the Judiciary or for lawyers generally, but also for the listening and watching public.

He noted that a vast majority of people learn about what goes on in Court from what they read in newspapers and magazines, and from what they hear on the radio and watch on television.

“It is therefore absolutely important that what happens in our Courts is reported accurately,” Hon. Justice Browne-Marke stressed.

He further noted that the training programme is aimed at enabling journalists to report cases accurately, but without taking out the journalistic edge to reporting.

He said the Hon. Chief Justice putting together the Judiciary’s Communications team does not mean they do not trust outside reporters to report its activities, but shows that in the modern age, publicity, be it favourable or hostile has to be addressed by competent persons.

In his statement, President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, thanked the Chief Justice and the leadership of the Judiciary for actualizing what he referred to as his ‘administration’s dire desire of building the capacity of journalists reporting on Court Proceedings and the activities of the Judiciary.’

“Let me at this point commend the current leadership provided by the Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards. His administration has been so supportive to the growth of ethical and professional journalism which SLAJ stands for. I want to kindly ask the acting Chief Justice to convey our message to the Chief Justice,” he commended.

He went on to note that in the wake of the technologically-driven media environment and the considerable speed with which information, interpretation and spinning of facts and opinions are disseminated, judiciaries are becoming less and less conservative.

“Nevertheless, the judiciary the world over cannot countenance frequent errors and inaccuracies in the news about court operations. In light of that, court reporters must be very highly trained and experienced professionals who share a unique ability to report court proceedings in a simple and easy-to-understand manner for the benefit of the general public,” the SLAJ President said.

To Court Reporters, he implored them to utilise the opportunity and ensure that the outcome of the training creates a positive impact on their reporting skills and level of professionalism.

He warned that, “SLAJ will not defend any journalist who decides to practice recklessly or who engages in acts contrary to our professional ethics. You have the SLAJ Code of Ethics and the IMC Media Code of Practice; make them your guide books. If you decide to be reckless, it is your right, but be also ready to face the consequences on your own. SLAJ doesn’t in any anyway support irresponsible journalism.”

He urged court reporters to report the court of law not the court of public opinion.

In highlighting the training objectives, Supreme Court judge and head of the Judicial and Legal Training Institute (JLTI), Hon. Justice Eku Emmanuel Roberts underscored that amid the many challenges faced by journalists in their coverage of the court, the training is designed to increase their skills and enhance their competence to conform to international best practices.

Among the trainers were, Hon. Justice Eku Emmanuel Roberts (JSC) who presented on the rights, privileges, responsibilities and obligations of court reporters; Justice Alusine Sesay (JSC) and Magistrate Mark Ngegba jointly presented on reporting on criminal trials, court layout, names and placement of jargons and terminologies.

The President of the Court of Appeal Hon. Justice Reginald S. Fynn (JA), elucidated on Civil trials generally with specific reference to originating processes, interlocutory applications, injunctions, judgments and more. Hon. justice Abukakarr Binneh-Kamara lectured on the Judiciary and the court structure in Sierra Leone.

The training ends tomorrow with different set of resourceful facilitators in the persons of the BBC’s Umaru Fofana, Dr. Isaac Massaquoi, Tanu Jalloh and Dr. Francis Sowa who’ll bring to light their practical journalistic experience in reporting.

For more enquiries contact the Communications Department on +23234617548, +23276321184, +23279101086

- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest News

Exciting News! House of Stars made it to the Times Square Billboard in New York

Sierra Leone's biggest reality TV show HOUSE OF STARS has been featured on the Times Square LED display advertising...
- Advertisement -spot_img

More Articles Like This