The Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board is an independent non-profit organization that came into existence in 2015. It has a national mandate to provide, administrate, coordinate and monitor the provision of legal aid in civil and criminal matters as set out in the Legal Aid Board Act 2012.
Prior to the establishment of the Board in May 2015, efforts at ensuring equal treatment before the law were fraught with serious challenges. Suspects or accused persons awaiting trial or convicts awaiting sentence who cannot afford to hire a lawyer to spend more time in detention because there is no lawyer to help apply for bail or prepare the case for trial. This had been largely responsible for the overcrowding in our correctional centres.
There have been remarkable improvements since then. The Board is addressing this imbalance by providing free legal advice and representation to low-income earners so that no Sierra Leonean is disadvantaged in accessing justice because of his status in society. This is apparent in the drastic reduction in the prison population.
We are committed to creating an innovative, collaborative, partnership and network organisation that is flexible and responsive to eligible low-income individuals and groups and plays a leadership role in a fair and balanced justice system where people would be able to understand and protect their legal rights.
- Promote peoples’ rights, fair treatment, and lend a hand to those people at risk of social exclusion
- Respect our employees and the people we serve
- Improve the quality of our work and delivering innovative, sustainable and cost effective legal aid services.
- Accountable for our actions and decisions.
- Recognize the value of our private partners including the Bar as a critical part of our service.
- Participate in the broader public dialogue on justice and social issues and communicate our essential role in a positive manner.
- Being professional and result oriented in rendering our services.