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Revised Public Order Act – well begun is half done

Apparently Parliament has requested that the Independent Media Commission (IMC) Act be strengthened and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) improve on its self-regulation.

But what is surprising is that the Ministry of Information and Communications only learnt about the apparent casting aside of the Bill “Public Order (Amendment) Act, 2019, tabled on 14 November, 2019 when this was disclosed in a radio interview with the Leader of Government Business and Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on appointment and public service.

Anyway, here is to hoping that this “inordinate waiting” may not be in vain and that the Minister will be richly rewarded with Acts (both Public Order and IMC), that will address the interest of all stakeholders and Sierra Leone.

The Chief Justice has given his opinion on the issue of the independence of the Judiciary thus: “While the Executive order has no legal effect as the constitution is clear about the creation of the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and their authority and functions, it is important that the public understands for the sake of our constitutional democracy, that both the Judiciary and the JSC are independent organs which are neither assigned functions nor derive authority from the Executive Branch of government.”

The President of the “Bar Association” also expressed his views on this same issue: “The Order cannot “restructure” or “assign” functions to the other co-equal and co-substantial arms of government and independent commissions.

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