Tuesday 5th July, 2022:
The Chief Justice of the Republic of Sierra Leone who doubles as a Judge of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone (RSCSL), His Lordship Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards has today delivered a Goodwill message at the 16th International Maritime seminar for Judges organized at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria.
In his goodwill message, His Lordship Justice Babatunde Edwards stated that, he was delighted for the invite extended to the Judiciary of Sierra Leone by the Nigerian Judicial Institute and the Nigerian Shipper’s Council as one of the focal countries to attend the seminar in order to receive insight in what he described as ‘the specialist area of law.’
“Throughout my tenure as Chief Justice I have held capacity building as one of the hallmarks for an effective, efficient and developing Judiciary. Our participation here at your invitation falls within this remit and strategic priority,” Justice Babatunde added.
He stated that the selection of Sierra Leone among other countries was timely and appropriate, adding that Sierra Leone and Nigeria as English-speaking countries have similarities in their legal systems and the common law system of practice in terms of admiralty law and Maritime law.
Justice Babatunde Edwards underscored that sharing experiences from the same legal systems will bring about significant changes in which both countries could learn from or even work together for progress.
He continued that at the end of the seminar they must have gained sufficient knowledge that would help build on the jurisprudence of Sierra Leone.
He commended the National Judicial Institute under the chairmanship of His Lordship the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Nigerian Shipper’s Council for, according him, the opportunity to benefit from continuing professional development and acquisition of specialist knowledge and skills will be enhanced.
The Chief Justice hope to replicate similar seminar in Sierra Leone in the near future, reaffirming that he would always seek for multiple experts from Nigeria to help transform the trajectory in the legal system of Sierra Leone.
Representatives from the Judiciary of Ghana, Gambia and Kenya also delivered Goodwill messages.
The keynote speech was delivered by the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria Honourable Justice Olukayode Ariwoola who was the Special Guest of honour for the ceremony.
Also in attendance at the seminar, were Honourable Justice Jamesina Essie Leonora King and Honourable Justice Komba Kamanda of the Court of Appeal as representatives from the Judiciary of Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone High Commission
Federal Republic of Nigeria