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Supreme Court Advises Judges

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Chief Justice, Ad Interim, Francis S. Korkpor, has underscored the need for the dispensation of impartial determination of cases at the various courts. Speaking yesterday at the opening of the November Term of Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Justice Korkpor challenged Judges in the country to hear cases on time and do away with impartial determination of cases.
 
“As you open the court to which you have been assigned for this term, let me remind you that your primary duty is to hear and determine cases on the docket .I underscore timely hearing and impartial determination. In consequence of this, and in accordance with Judicial Cannon Number 34, the Supreme Court has promulgated Judicial Order Number 4,” Chief Justice Korkpor said. He then mandated judges in the country to comply with the Judicial Order.
 
In the Judicial Order to Circuit and Specialized Court Judges, Chief Justice Korkpor noted, “As of this November Term, AD. 2012, all Judicial Circuits and Specialized Courts are hereby mandated that every final ruling/judgment rendered by a judge in the disposition of a cause of action shall henceforth, and as unequivocally espoused by the Supreme Court in its opinion in the case: Martha Sirleaf vs. Republic of Liberia, delivered at the March 2012 Term of Court, be by a detailed ruling containing clear and concise summaries of the facts and the evidence of the case, the relevant law citations relied upon, and the rationale upon which the ruling is made.”
 
He said the final ruling/judgment shall be a separate and properly type- written document which shall be attached to the records of the case. Accordingly, Justice Korkpor said commencing November 12, 2012, and thereafter, no judge of a circuit or specialized court shall dictate a final ruling/judgment to form part of the minutes of court.
 
He further mandated that the returns required to be submitted by every judge shall be filed in triplicate; one copy to the office of the Chief Justice; one copy to the Court Administrator and one copy to the Justice with oversight responsibility of the circuit or specialized court.
 
Meanwhile, judges are calling on the national government to increase the Judiciary allotment to enable them carry out judicial reform across the country.
 
Delivering the judges' charge, Judge Peter Gbenewele said presently it is only two percent of the national budget that makes up the entire fiscal budget and renewed their call to the national government to place judiciary within its top government agenda.
 
Judge Gbenewele said when the Judiciary has a budget that is able to address its reform needs justice will be rendered effectively to reduce chaos adding, the Judiciary needs modern vehicles, better retirement package for its justices and judges; extension of modern judicial facilities; residential quarters for judges and modern recording system in the courts across the country.
 
He said judicial reforms and strong judiciary can not be achieved in the midst of inadequate budget because it is only adequate budget that would give the needed justice the public needs noting that it is the national government that has the responsibility to provide judges the basic needs to live decent lives.
 
Speaking on behalf of the Liberia Anti Corruption Commission, Cllr. Othello Payman said it is no secret around time that 99 percent of the talks around town concerning corruption in the Judiciary are not true instead it is the society that is corrupt because those who are jurors and party litigants decide the trend of most cases at the level of the circuit courts.
 
Cllr. Payman said judicial reform is not about enacting laws but good environment in which judges will be compensated well but it is not the case in Liberia because judges are not well paid. He said judicial reforms ensure that judges are financially protected by that they are socially and morally protected. 
 
 
Uploaded: November 13, 2012