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Sierra Leone: Changes to the 1991 Constitution Proposed

(Feb. 29, 2016) On February 16, 2016, Sierra Leone’s Constitutional Review Committee (an 80-member body established in 2013 to review the 1991 Constitution and a 2008 report proposing changes to it) published an abridged draft report of its findings.  (Ibrahim Tarawallie, New Chapters Proposed in New Constitution, CONCORD TIMES (Feb. 17, 2016).)   The draft report, which took two years […]

Sierra Leone: Constitutional Amendment Passed by Legislature

(Nov. 26, 2013) On November 19, 2013, the House of Representatives, the unicameral Parliament of Sierra Leone, passed a controversial amendment to the country’s Constitution. The change affects the criteria for serving as Speaker of the House. (In Sierra Leone Speaker Criteria Amended in 2013 Amendment Act, AFRICATIME (Nov. 22, 2013).) The Constitution of 1991 […]

Sierra Leone: Human Rights Commissioner Asks Return of Blood Diamonds

(Aug. 19, 2010) Sierra Leone's Human Rights Commissioner, Yasmin Jusu-Sheriff, recently called for the return of the “blood diamonds” that internationally known model Naomi Campbell was given by Charles Taylor in 1997. Campbell has testified that she gave the gems to the director of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, who in turn gave them to […]

Sierra Leone: Supreme Court Rules Libel Law Does Not Violate Freedom of Press

(Dec. 15, 2009) It was reported on December 7, 2009, that the Sierra Leone Supreme Court had rejected a constitutional challenge to the 1965 Public Order Act, which imposes criminal responsibility for “defamatory” publication. (Mohamed Fofanah, Mixed Reactions to Libel Law Ruling, INTERPRESS SERVICE NEWS AGENCY, Dec. 7, 2009, available at The Act provides […]

Sierra Leone: New Draft Mining Law to Increase Government Revenues, Decrease Child Recruitment

(June 25, 2009) It was reported on June 18, 2009, that a draft mining law seeking to increase government revenue from mining activities and to regulate the involvement of children in mining will soon be introduced in Sierre Leone's Parliament. (Ibrahim Tarawallie, 2009 Draft Mining Act Reviewed, CONCORD TIMES, June 18, 2009, available at […]

Rwanda; Sierra Leone: Sierra Leone Convicts to Serve Time in Rwanda

(Mar. 27, 2009) On March 18, 2009, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), the Sierra Leone-based Tribunal established in 2002 to try individuals who perpetrated crimes during the civil war in that country, signed an agreement with the Rwandan government that will make it possible for some individuals convicted by the SCSL to serve […]

Liberia; Sierra Leone: Financial Shortfall May Lead to Taylor’s Release

(Mar. 5, 2009) As of May 2009, the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone may face a shortage of funds of more than US$5 million. Donations to the Court have declined due to the global financial crisis. This court is the first of its kind to rely on donations from other nations for its […]

Sierra Leone: New Drug Control Law Passed

(Aug. 28, 2008) It was reported on August 2, 2008, that the National Drugs Act of 2008, drafted with the help of the U.N. Office of Drug Control, passed Sierra Leone's legislature with the overwhelming support of the MPs. The law, the draft of which was tabled in Parliament under a “certificate of urgency” signed […]