LIBERIA: Judge Says Overcrowded Prison, Lawyers’ Delay Major Challenges

GANTA,  (LINA) – Judge Roland F. Dahn of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Nimba County has said overcrowded prisons and delays by lawyers are major challenges the court is faced with as he calls for swift action to reverse the situation.

Speaking recently on the grounds of the 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Sanniquillie City, Nimba County, Resident Judge Dahn noted that due to the delay on the part of most lawyers to turnout to represent their clients and the constant “praying for Motions, Bills of Information and other formalities” are aimed at delaying trial and adjudicating of cases.”

The court’s docket is stockpiled with cases that should have been dealt with “a very long time ago, thereby making people who take their cases to court to see the court as a place where justice is delayed and denied,” the judge noted.

This act on the part of some lawyers, according to the Judge, is the primary reason why prison facilities, not only in Nimba, but across the country, are overcrowded with pre-trial detainees and prisoners serving their respective jail terms.

He noted that this action by some lawyers is not only injuring clients, but also sending out a bad message about the country’s justice system as, according to him, many Liberians are living with the perception that the justice system “no longer favors the poor.”

According to Judge Dahn, the 42 days jury sitting period is sufficient to look into cases at the court, if lawyers representing different clients act punctually in their quest to seek justice for their clients.

He admonished lawyers “set good examples” in the discharge of their professional duties as their clients and the general public look up to them for legal redress.

The 8th Judicial Circuit Resident Judge pointed out the currently the situation of overcrowded prison facilities across the country is worrisome as, according to him, it hangs a dark cloud over the country’s justice system and sends out a negative picture about the court to the rest of the world.

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About Cholo Brooks 17449 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.

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