LIBERIA: Judge Warns Colleagues To Recuse Themselves From Cases Involving Relatives

Temple of Justice. Liberia

The Presiding Judge of Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice, Boima Kontoe, has warned judges not to sit on cases involving their relatives because it has the propensity to undermine the judicial system.

“A judge should not sit on any case which involves their blood relatives; if you find out that your relative is involved in any matter before you, recuse yourself before the lawyers representing the other party asks for your recusal,” he cautioned.

Judge Kontoe said the court is a place where people seek justice, and as such the judges should dispense justice without fear or favor, adding that “justice should be served to all, not certain individuals.”

Judge Kontoe sounded the warning Tuesday at the Joint and Formal Opening of the February Term of Criminal Courts “A” “B” “C” “D” and “E”.


Meanwhile, Judge Kontoe is calling on all support staffs of the judiciary to take their jobs seriously, and be punctual at all times.

He said most staffs are found loitering and are also in the habit of coming to work late, adding that “as judicial workers you should always be at work on time and at all times.”

He indicated that the values of the judicial system must be shown to the public which, he noted, “has to do with dedication and commitment; and that is why we say the court should be open to the public at 8:00 a.m.”

“We have decided to take action against any staffs who will not come to work on time, or is seen loitering; and therefore we expect all staffs to report to work on time at their various circuits and remain there until the court can adjourn,” he added.

He made mention of lawyers who are finding it difficult to attend cases before court at the time given them, appealing to the lawyers to “please learn to be on time to attend to the cases before us.”

“We have had the experience of imposing fines on some lawyers for their failure and refusal to appear in court whenever a matter is assigned at 9:00 a.m.,” Judge Kontoe indicated.


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