By Bampia Bundu
The Deputy Registrar of the Sierra Leone Fast Track Commercial Court, Mr. Ibrahim Foday Mansaray, has disclosed to AYV that the Court has already settled about 27 commercial cases in June and they are working on more cases for July 2012.
He made this revelation in an exclusive interview with AYV along Lightfoot Boston Street in Freetown.
He explained that the Court was set up to promote efficiency, transparency and speedy justice delivery in commercial and administrative litigations, adding that the Court was also expected to build the confidence of the business sector, improve the investment climate in Sierra Leone and encourage local and foreign investment and promote corporate governance and judicial integrity .
Mr. Mansaray maintained that most of their cases employed adjournments and speedy justice because the Court viewed business people as always busy, hence “we offer speedy justice within 15 days and not more than three days adjournment.”
He said the Court was established in 2012 by President Ernest Koroma as the first indigenous court system in the country that was fully automatic and dealt with commerce-related issues which they have been handling well.
Speaking on the make-up of the Court, he said although it was governed by the High Court Rules 2007, the Commercial Court was independent, and had three Judges including two from the Appeal Court and one from the High court together with one Gambian High Court Judge, St. George Ade-Joiner.
Mr. Mansaray said the Court usually applied the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process before proceeding for a trial. In this process, he explained, claims were resolved by the assistance or involvement of a third party that assisted the parties to the claim in resolving the issues outside of the Court.
He maintained that they employed this process because it has become a common and popular means of resolving disputes in other countries in order to avoid long delays and sometimes procedural issues and technicalities associated with the adversarial Court trial process.