Justice Minister Frank M. Dean has disclosed that amending the Criminal Procedure Law will further strengthen the criminal justice system in Liberia.
According to Minister Dean, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) engaged the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2018 to support the amendment of Chapter 16, sub-section 16.4, Chapter 3, section 3.8 and Chapter 10 section 10.2, 10.4 and 10.6 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
The Justice Minister made the disclosure last Friday at a one day consultative meeting which brought together participants from the UNDP and other UN agencies, officials of government and representatives of civil society held at a local hotel in Sinkor.
He indicated that the Ministry of Justice knowing the significance of improving the Criminal Justice System decided to include the amendment of Chapter 12 section 12. 1 and 12.2 and section 3.6 of the New Judiciary Law.
He pointed out that these chapters to be amended will provide for plea bargaining, amending the quarterly Circuit Courts’ term to a bi-annual term, provision of authority and arrest, appointment of additional Relieving judges for Circuit Courts and provision for a standard on preliminary examination in cases above the trial jurisdiction of magistrates and justice of the peace.
Minister Dean stressed that the Ministry of Justice considers the amendment of these chapters of the Criminal Procedure Law as a milestone reach.
He asserted that amending these chapters in the Criminal Procedure Law will address the key challenges of prolonged pre-trial detection and dockets over-crowdedness.
He expressed appreciation to the Rule of Law joint program supported by UNDP.OHCHR and Government of Sweden through the Embassy for supporting the Ministry of Justice in achieving this process.
“We can assured you of our commitments to engage the Legislature to amend these chapters of the Criminal Procedure Law after your inputs” Minister Dean added.