Supreme Court Opens With Overcrowded Docket – Chief Justice

Liberian Chief Justice Francis Korkpor
Liberian Chief Justice Francis Korkpor

The Supreme Court docket still remains overcrowded for its October Term despite rendering opinions in 34 cases during the March Term, Chief Justice Korkpor has revealed.

Justice Korkpor, who did not disclose the exact number cases currently on the docket, expressed concern Monday during the opening of the Court for its October Term at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.

“The cases decided were just drops in the bucket,” he said, and attributed the situation to requirements by Article 20 of the 1986 Constitution which provides the right of appeal from judgments, decrees, decisions or rulings of courts or administrative boards or agencies except where the Supreme Court shall be held inviolable.

The Chief Justice noted that it is highly improbable that the docket of the high court will be exhausted in any term, given the requirement that all appeals be passed upon by it especially when it has just five justices.

He indicated that the overwhelming view aimed at addressing docket overcrowding is the creation of appellate courts to deal with appeals of general nature so that the high court can hear and decide appeals mainly in constitutional matters.

He recalled the creation of appellate courts by Associate Justice Kabineh Ja`neh when he addressed the National Law Day program on May 6 in the Banquet Hall of the Temple of Justice.

Chief Justice Korkpor then lauded the UN Mission in Liberia for boosting the reform initiative of the judiciary by building, rehabilitating and helping the Supreme Court with the training of judicial staff, including judges and lawyers.

In remarks, the President of the Liberia National Bar Association, Cllr. Moses Paegar, lauded Justice Korkpor for acknowledging the essence for the establishment of the Appellate Court of Liberia.

According to him, the establishment of this court has been seen by many as one of several measures, adding, “There is no gainsaying, the most important of them necessary for decongestion of the age-old overcrowded docket of this honorable court.”

Paegar revealed that the association has already constituted an Appellate Court Drafting Committee headed by Cllr. David A. B. Jallah to draft the appropriate legislation for passage by the National Legislature.

The occasion was graced by Vice President Joseph Boakai, River Gee Senator Conmany Wesseh, U.N. Deputy SRSG, Counselors, diplomatic corps, and media, among others.

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About Cholo Brooks 13183 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.