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Miscellaneous Information

Miscellaneous Information:

Fatmata Claire Carlton Hanciles

Ms Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles is the first Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board since its inception in 2015. Ms. Carlton-Hanciles has been credited with transforming the Board into the largest legal aid organization in the country. It has offices in fourteen of the sixteen districts in the country. Each of the offices has at least two Paralegals. Also, the Board is the only organization with resident lawyers in some parts of the country.

Under her stewardship, the Board has carved a niche in the provision of primary justice services. This has improved access to justice for many especially those in remote communities where it is not uncommon for people to resort to divine intervention rather than seek redress in the courts because of the challenges which go with it in terms of access, cost, speed and complexity.

Prior to joining the Board, Ms. Carlton-Hanciles worked at the United Nations backed International War Crimes Tribunal, The Special Court for Sierra Leone. She joined the Court in 2002 as Defence Counsel. She rose to the enviable position of Principal Defender in 2009. A position she held until the closure of the court in December 2013. She is the only Sierra Leonean to have held that position and also the longest serving Principal Defender in the history of the Court.

She was engaged in private practice for over four years, which she combined with civil society activism. She was a member of the executive of the Women’s Forum one of the leading civil society organizations in the country.