Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section D. Information on the nature and cause of the accusation
Sierra Leone’s Constitution (1991) states:
23. Provision to secure protection of law.
(5) Every person who is charged with a criminal offence –
a. shall be informed at the time he is charged in the language which he understands and in detail, of the nature of the offence charged;
(10) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of any provisions of this section … to the extent that the law in question authorises the taking during a period of public emergency of measures that are reasonably justifiable for the purpose of dealing with the situation that exists before or during that period of public emergency.
29. Public emergency.
(2) The President may issue a Proclamation of a state of public emergency only when –
a. Sierra Leone is at war; [or]
b. Sierra Leone is in imminent danger of invasion or involvement in a state of war; or
c. there is actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the whole of Sierra Leone or any part thereof to such an extent as to require extraordinary measures to restore peace and security; or
d. there is a clear and present danger of an actual breakdown of public order and public safety in the whole of Sierra Leone or any part thereof requiring extraordinary measures to avert the same; or
e. there is an occurrence of imminent danger, or the occurrence of any disaster or natural calamity affecting the community or a section of the community in Sierra Leone; or
f. there is any other public danger which clearly constitutes a threat to the existence of Sierra Leone.
(5) During a period of public emergency, the President may make such regulations and take such measures as appear to him to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of maintaining and securing peace, order and good government in Sierra Leone or any part thereof.
Sierra Leone’s Geneva Conventions Act (2012) states:
5. Notice of trial.
(1) A court shall not try a protected prisoner of war or a protected internee unless it is satisfied that the protecting power and the legal representative of the prisoner of war or internee have been given at least twenty-one days notice of the trial by the prosecutor.
(2) The notice referred to in subsection (1) shall include –
(d) the offence with which the accused person is charged.