Sunday, 22 July 2012
How the Externship is Changing my Ideas about the Law
By Wilbri John, Extern, LAWYERS
Before coming in contact with AdvocAid, I had decided that I will work more as a Solicitor and less as a Barrister. I thought I was better-off in an office environment than in the court room. Seeing women in conflict with the law; most of them without any legal representation, juvenile imprisoned with adult and the unfair and unjust treatment meted on people especially less privilege, I have decided that when I become a lawyer, I will put a lot of effort in advocating for such people.
When interviewing victims or listening to cases discussed by fellow paralegals I have come to realize that the theoretical and the practical part of the law have many differences in Sierra Leone. I’ve been to a court sitting to see that the accused did not have a lawyer. He did cross examination himself. He was an illiterate and needed an interpreter to interpret everything to him; the questions asked by the lawyer of the plaintiff and by the magistrates. According to the law, the accused must be provided with a lawyer if he cannot afford one but that is hardly done unless certain human rights lawyers come across such cases and decide to represent them.