Liberia’s Chief Justice Wants 2017 Contestants Out Of Judiciary

Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor
Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor

Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor has reiterated his call on judges and judicial workers with interest in contesting the pending presidential and legislative elections to quit the judiciary.

The first time Justice Korkpor made the call was during the opening of the November Term of Court.

His message was directed at Clerks of Court, Bailiffs, Public Defenders, Judges and other judicial actors he described as “an extension of the courts.”

He made the call Monday at the official opening of the First Judicial Circuit Court for the February Term of Court.

The First Judicial Circuit Court which comprises Criminal Courts “A” to “E”, open on the second Monday of February, May, August and November each year.

“The law specifically prohibits judges but for the sake of good public policy, especially where a clerk, bailiff, sheriff is capable of influencing decision, they must not remain within the system and be seen canvassing against the rights of others,” Korkpor said.

He acknowledged that some election cases will go to the lower courts instead of going straight to the Supreme Court and said cases will need to be expeditiously tried and disposed of in keeping with law.

Chief Justice Korkpor noted that while judges are yet to be paid in keeping with the Judicial Cannon that bans them from participating in commercial activities, integrity issues range on within the judiciary.

He said while progress has been made in said regard, it remains a reality that the issues of integrity cannot completely be wiped out.

He stressed that as servants of the people, this Judiciary branch of government is judged by what justice actors do, adding “Confidence in the system is what the people want.”

He revealed that the pension bill that is said to be before the National Legislature is “a contribution of the judiciary, even while the judiciary is not involved in law making.”

The bill, he said, will provide for adequacy of retirement benefits and pension needs of citizens having retired from active work.

“When you work and retire, you should remain a dignified person relying on whatever benefits in stock for you,” he noted.

He argued that someone who has a decent job and knowing that they will get a fat retirement benefit will not risk said job.

“For us we don’t conduct the judiciary in the papers but there are many good things being discussed, all of which are part of the change we are endeavoring to bring to this branch of government and as time goes on you will know,” he added.

He called on justice actors to dedicate themselves to the duties they have to perform during the February Term of Court.

LINA

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About Cholo Brooks 13184 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.