Sierra Leone's Residual Special Court gets two new judges

The Residual Special Court (RSCSL) for Sierra Leone has announced the appointment of two Sierra Leonean judges.

Justices Eldred Taylor-Camara and Miatta Maria Samba were sworn in on New Year's eve, according to a statement seen by APA on Wednesday. The two, according to the statement, are part of a 16-member Roster of Judges available to the UN-backed court which was initially set up as the Special Court for Sierra Leone to try those responsible for the greatest crimes committed in the 1991 and 2002 civil war, which claimed nearly half a million lives and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

Like its predecessor, the RSCSL was established by an agreement between the United Nations (UN) and the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) to carry on the continuing legal obligations of the initial court which concluded its mandate in December 2013. These responsibilities include supervision of prison sentences, witness protection and support, maintenance and preservation of the archives, and assistance to national prosecution authority.

Under the RSCSL Statute, 10 of the judges are appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the remaining six by the Government of Sierra Leone.

Justices Taylor-Camara and Samba were appointed by the Government, replacing Justices Vivian Margarette Solomon and Abdulai Hamid Charm who ended their tenure.

According to the statement, in the swearing in ceremony held at the newly-opened and refurbished Peace Museum within the court's premises, which witnessed by Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Dr. Priscilla Schwartz, each judge subscribed before RSCSL President Justice Jon Kamanda to the Solemn Declaration, laid out under Rule 14(A) to serve "honestly, faithfully, impartially and conscientiously" as a Judge of the RSCSL.

Justice Eldred Taylor-Camara has been a Judge of Sierra Leone's Court of Appeal since 2017. Justice Miatta Maria Samba was named a Judge of Sierra Leone's High Court in 2015 and has been a Judge of the Sierra Leone Court of Appeals since February 2019.

RSCSL Justices serve without remuneration unless called upon to work. They are paid on a pro rata basis.