Citizens Advisory Bureau
The Bureau is a one-stop-shop which provides alternative dispute resolution support and referral services on minor civil matters/issues amongst community inhabitants. The Bureau is run by volunteers recruited from the community and given paralegal and mediation training by the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board.
They provide some legal services to people in their respective communities in need of legal aid. Those they cannot handle they would refer to the informal court, police and national institutions and non-governmental organizations as the case may be.
The Bureaus are established to help community members take ownership of their justice needs since the Sierra Leone Police is overwhelmed with complaints which could be settled by local institutions within the community or referred to other national institutions for resolution.
For example, problems between tenants and landlords and disagreements over cleaning, sharing of responsibilities and use of resources – like water tap – in the community which sometimes degenerate into disputes could be settled amicably within the community.
Also, employment issues could be taken to the Ministry of Labour and Industrial Relations and issues between citizens and the state could be taken to the Office of the Ombudsman.