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The World Turned Upside Down: Reaching Out to Law Libraries in Sierra Leone

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2018


This article, by Sarah Bracey and Tony Simmonds, explores professional and cultural challenges confronting two BIALL members involved in a project to enhance law library services in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It considers approaches to developing effectual supportive partnerships in a developing country context where the legal information ecosystem and provision of resource differ to an extent that all but inverts the familiar working world. The article traces the boundaries of what change is feasible in such a context, cautioning against over-ambition and advocating areas for future focus around staffing, co-ordination of donation programmes and digitisation of primary materials.

BIALL Pro Bono Project in Sierra Leone
Copyright © The Author(s) 2018. Published by British and Irish Association of Law Librarians 

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1 The Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991 (Act No. 6 of 1991) <> accessed 3 April 2018.

2 Skutsch, Carl (ed), Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities, vol 3 (Routledge 2005) 1099Google Scholar.

3 The Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991 (Act No. 6 of 1991) s. 170(3) <> accessed 3 April 2018.

5 For an overview of Sierra Leone legal sources see: Hanatu Kabbah, Sierra Leone Legal System and Legal Research <> accessed 23 April 2018.

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7 Milner, Alan, ‘The African Law Reports’ (1967) 11 Journal of African Law 151CrossRefGoogle Scholar.