These courts fall outside the justice sector institutions. Majority of Sierra Leoneans use these courts to resolve disputes and maintain social order. This is because the informal courts are more accessible. Unlike the formal courts, these courts exist and are visible in all the 190 chiefdoms in the country. In addition, they are less expensive because lawyers are not required.
Most people, especially the majority uneducated are at ease seeking justice in these courts because they are less intimidating. These courts are conducted in the local languages and take into consideration the customs and traditions of the people.
Chiefs’, Tribal and Religious Courts
These courts are presided over by chiefs, tribal headmen and religious authorities. They are not governed by any legislation. They depend largely on oral history, tradition or religion for guidance.