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“We Are Challenged” …Chief Justice Reacts To Pres. Boakai Statement

By Precious D. Freeman

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Sie-A –Nyene Yuoh, has cautioned judicial actors to wear their garments of been non-corruptible in dispensing justice without fear or favor.

Chief Justice Yuoh’s statement was in response to President Boakai’s State of the Nation Address, where he mentioned that “Our justice system which is meant to protect the innocent and punish the guilty has been marred by inefficiency, corruption, and lack of public trust.”

Speaking yesterday at the 10th convention of the National Association of Trial Judges of Liberia (NATJL), Justice Yuoh mentioned that such statement from the President serves as a challenge to them as judicial actors, and wants lawyers to demonstrate efficiency, stating that the Supreme Court of Liberia will not hesitate to institute measures to curb and eradicate all forms of dilatory tactics of lawyers in all instances.

Justice Yuoh noted that the court expects full adherence to the principle of the law, which states, “Every court entering a decree maintains jurisdiction until its judgment is fully satisfied.”

The Chief Justice, however, restated her unwavering stance on the administration of justice in the interest of peace, harmony, stability, and economic viability of the country.

“The time for warning is over, and it is now time to act. To this end, and in consultation with my esteemed colleagues, I am pleased to announce that the Supreme Court has constituted a review committee on the revised rule of courts, the code of moral and professional ethics of lawyers and judicial canons, as well as our procedural codes, with the end purpose of identifying challenges and shortcomings, if any,” she said.

Justice Sie-A –Nyene Yuoh used the occasion to call on all courts of records deciding ejectment cases to assert their very best in utilizing the technical expertise of Liberia Land Authority or other licensed land surveyors and in consonance with applicable laws.

She stressed that the Supreme Court has observed that it has defiantly become the new normal for a segment of the public enticed by misguided courage, obstructing the enforcement of court judgment, either the judgment is averse to their interests or based on their claim that they were not party to the cause out of which the judgment grew.

The 10th National Trial Judges Conference is being celebrated under the theme, “The Judiciary and Democracy: safeguarding democratic values in the legal system, especially during and after elections,” and the conference runs for three days, from February 1-3.

Also speaking during the program as guest speaker, the Senior Partner of the Heritage Partner and Associates, Cllr Negbalee Warner, said judges are not politicians that should slave or do their job with fear.

He said that the role of judges during and after elections is maintaining a high level of moral conduct and integrity of themselves and demanding the same from administrative staff.

The Heritage Partners and Associate Senior Partner also said that the role of judges is to safeguard democracy and the implementation of the rule of law.

He said party litigants themselves are contributing factors to the delay of cases on the docket of the court, noting that the issues of tip are not acceptable under the law.

“Liberian judges comprising the National Association of Trial Judges need not to do anything else other than what they ought to do in safeguarding the democracy,” he said.

According to him, to safeguard confidence in the Judiciary, Liberian judges need to be efficient in the deposition of cases through personal attention, diligence efforts, and time of the judge, clerk, and other ministerial staff’s party litigant and their counselors.

Speaking further, Warner mentioned that they desire an efficient and effective judiciary, not only clean in need but in conduct, “We must do away with the saying the court is the time or the judge time is the time of the court, as these processes need to be improved as we seek improvement.”

He noted that for the public to have confidence in the Judiciary, the courts need to bear and be respectful of the rule of law, stressing that judges bear the greatest responsibility for any miscarriage of justice or conduct, and they have the authority and means to prevent or mitigate wrong or dishonorable conduct

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