Liberia

Liberia: Associate Justice urges trial judges to uphold integrity of Court

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UNMIL PR 93

Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia - The Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Cllr. Kabina Janeh has urged Judges and Magistrates to ensure the effective control of their courtrooms in the discharge of their duties of dispensing justice. He made the call on behalf of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Johnny N. Lewis at a 2-day training of Trial Judges and Magistrates in Gbarnga, Bong County. The training was held 6-7 November, 2008, with the aim of strengthening the judiciary in the administration of justice.

He said that judicial personnel "must serve justice in keeping with the law and should not allow themselves to be intimidated by high profile lawyers in to rendering justice in their favor". He however, cautioned against misconduct of judicial officials and said, "The misconduct of a single judge or magistrate in court can have an adverse effect on the entire Liberian judicial system," and further urged the judicial personnel to adhere to court practices that conform to the law.

The training brought together judges and magistrates from the 15 counties of Liberia and was sponsored by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, in collaboration with United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the Carter Center and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The practitioners were trained on a number of key areas that need strengthening. Among them, courtroom management and new procedural standards that have recently been introduced with to enhance the judiciary and build their capacity in speedy adjudication of cases. The training is considered an integral part of on-going efforts to get the James A.A. Pierre Judicial Training Institute, which was launched by the Liberia National Bar Association - LNBA - off the ground.

The LNBA President, Cllr. Oswald Tweh spoke of the significance of the training, when he addressed the participants and said, "The training is the second one, held to get the envisaged, James A.A. Pierre Judicial Training Institute started." He hailed the training as "a gigantic step to improve judicial personnel," and voiced his believe in the fact that "the school can enhance the administration of justice in Liberia."

The training was also attended by Mr. Kamudoni Nyasula, Director of UNMIL Legal/Judicial System Support Division, Associate Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr., former Chief Justice, Senator Gloria M. Scott and Deputy Justice Minister for Administration, Eva Mappy Morgan among others.