A Critique of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone’s Conviction of Augustine Marrah for Criminal Contempt


  • Augustine Sorie-Sengbe Marrah Sierra Leone Law School (Sierra Leone)




Supreme Court, Sierra Leone Law, Criminal Law, General Legal Council, Disciplinary Committee


The Legal Practitioners Act of 2000 authorises the Sierra Leone Bar Association to elect six legal practitioners for membership of the General Legal Council (Council), which is the regulatory body of the legal profession in Sierra Leone. In April 2019, Ibrahim Sorie was among the legal practitioners elected to the Council. Subsequently, I—another legal practitioner—objected to and petitioned in the High Court of Sierra Leone Sorie’s election to the Council on the basis of ineligibility.

The thrust of my objection was that Sorie, a two-term ex-president of the Sierra Leone Bar Association had not yet attained the necessary fifteen-year standing qualification at the date of his appointment to the Council, based on his year of enrolment into the Permanent Register or Roll of Court in 2011.

Sorie filed an action in the Supreme Court against the Council invoking the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to interpret certain portions of the Constitution of Sierra Leone vis-à-vis the eligibility provision for membership to the Council in the Legal Practitioners Act.2 The Supreme Court delivered a controversial 97-paged judgment on 27 October 2020.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Augustine Sorie-Sengbe Marrah, Sierra Leone Law School (Sierra Leone)

The author is a leading lawyer, constitutional expert and good governance enthusiast. He graduated top of his class from the Sierra Leone Law School in 2009 and has been in legal practice for over ten years. Augustine is the immediate past chairperson of the Renaissance Movement (Sierra Leone), a growing social movement in the country. Augustine has extensively written on ranging issues of good governance, the rule of law, democracy and often blogs about political, social and economic injustices in Sierra Leone. He sits on the Pharmacy Board of Sierra Leone and was recently appointed by the President of Sierra Leone, one of a seven-member team, to craft the national anti-corruption strategy for 2019-2023. Augustine served as secretary of the regulatory body for lawyers in Sierra Leone (General Legal Council) and its Disciplinary Committee for two consecutive years. He is a member of the Sierra Leone Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association. He currently runs his own law firm in Sierra Leone—Marrah & Associates.




How to Cite

Marrah, A. S.-S. (2021). A Critique of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone’s Conviction of Augustine Marrah for Criminal Contempt. Strathmore Law Journal, 5(1), 209–216. https://doi.org/10.52907/slj.v5i1.148



Essays, Reports and Communications