Monrovia – Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor has called on members of the Supreme Court Bar Association to ensure the speedy adjudication of cases on the Supreme Court docket as the March Term of Court begins.
Addressing members of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) on Monday, March 12, at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Chief Justice Korkpor indicated that there are 246 cases pending trial on the Supreme Court docket. Inclusive of that number are 14 cases on the “motion calendar” before the Court for speedy judgment.
“All counselors, who have cases before this court are advised to put in early requests to have their cases assigned and be in readiness for the arguments,” Chief Justice Korkpor mandated.
The Chief Justice said the speedy trial of cases on the docket will help improve the progress of the Justice System of the country.
At the same time, the Chief Justice outlined infrastructure and human resource development as key areas of priority under the reformed agenda of the Judiciary.
“We shall continue to construct houses in the country until all judicial circuits have judicial complexes and all magisterial districts have magistrate courts,” he pledged.
The Chief Justice also called on the 54th Legislature to implement Section 13.4 of the New Judiciary Law, which calls for providing pension benefits for the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, judges of subordinate courts and stipendiary magistrates, who retire in accordance with the Constitution and the New Judiciary Law.
“We are working with the leadership of the Senate to ensure that the effort to have the law implemented is realized,” Korkpor noted.
The Chief Justice avowed that commercial banks’ cases on appeal before the Supreme Court, which could not be heard during last term of court, would be assigned this term for hearing and determination.
“About three weeks ago, the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia paid a courtesy visit at the Supreme Court to acquaint us with the concerns of some commercial banks operating in the country."
"He intimated that cases involving some commercial banks, which loaned huge amount of money to individuals and institutions in Liberia are having their cases stalled at the lower courts and that a few of the cases were pending before the Supreme Court.”
“We have instructed the lower courts concerned to expedite those cases, which have implications on our economy."
"We gave the assurance those cases on Appeal from the commercial banks to the Supreme Court which could not be heard during the last term of Court because we gave priority to election cases would be assigned this term of court for hearing and determination.”
Chief Justice Korkpor called on the government to provide the funds earmarked to strengthen the Justice System in the wake of UNIML draw down.
“Last year, the government of Liberia decided to provide funds to strengthen certain strategic functionaries of the government, including the Justice and Security sectors in preparation for UNMIL drawdown and eventual departure from Liberia. The total of US$1 million was earmarked for the Judiciary."
"But so far only US$500,000 of the amount has been made available,” he said.