Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section B. Trial by an independent, impartial and regularly constituted court
Sierra Leone’s Constitution (1991) states:
CHAPTER III – THE RECOGNITION AND PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF THE INDIVIDUAL
23. Provision to secure protection of law.
(1) Whenever any person is charged with a criminal offence he shall unless the charge is withdrawn, be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law.
(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.
(6) Without derogating from the generality of the powers conferred by subsection (5) and notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, the regulations or measures may, so far as appears to the President to be necessary or expedient for any of the purposes mentioned in that subsection –
g. provide for the apprehension, trial and punishment of persons offending against the regulations;
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall authorise the making of regulations during a period of public emergency for the trial of persons who are not members of defence forces by military courts.