Liberia: First Female Magistrate and longest Cape Mount County Judge Dies at 70


Monrovia – Retired Judge Amymusu K. Jones, the first woman who became a magistrate in 1994 of the Monrovia Magisterial Court and longest circuit judge of Grand Cape Mount County has died and subsequently buried.

Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]

After 30 days of her retirement from the judiciary in Grand Cape Mount County on August 3, 2018 she was pronounced dead at Du-Side Hospital.

She was considered as a mentor to generations of lawyers and aspiring jurists in Liberia.

She was born in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County and attained her early education in Robertsport and at Konola Academy.

She studied at the L’institut Catholique in Paris, France where she earned a Certificate in the French Language. She later matriculated to Hunter College, City University of New York where she attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. In 1988, Judge Jones received her Bachelor of Laws Degree from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia in Monrovia, Liberia, and commenced her legal career with the Jones and Jones Law Firm in Monrovia.

Later, Judge Jones became Legal Counsel at the Ministry of Finance.  Her commitment to Liberia accordingly was immeasurable, serving as Special Envoy/Advisor, Liberia National Transitional Government during a very difficult period in Liberia’s history.

Subsequently retired Judge Jones was appointed the first female Magistrate of the Monrovia City Magisterial Court, at the Temple of Justice, beginning her long judicial services.

In August 2002, she was nominated by the President of Liberia and confirmed by the Liberian Senate as Resident Judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit Court of Grand Cape Mount County, becoming the first woman and longest serving judge of the 5th Judicial Circuit Court.

 She also served as Judge of the Debt, Probate and other circuit courts before presiding over the 5th Judicial Circuit Court of Grand Cape Mount County for 12 years.

Over the course of her career, retired Judge Jones was active in issues involving women and the law, becoming a founding member of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) and rising to the position of 2nd Vice President. She also attended and participated in multiple legal conferences and workshops in Liberia, other parts of Africa and the United States.

Retired judge Jones in 2011 spoke against the diminishing reading habit among Liberian youths.

Retired Judge Jones cited ‘humiliating and poor’ presentation made by students of Grand Cape Mount during the recently held celebration of National Tree Planting Day as an instance.

“They do not read and as a result, their English is poor with incomprehensible writing styles. Most of our students have become fond of ending with this phrase: ‘I thanks’. This is one of many grammatical crimes Liberian students are committing,” she said.

Retired Judge Jones replaced the late Resident Circuit Judge, Varney D. Cooper in April of 2006.

She served the Liberian Judiciary for 24 years prior to her retirement at the age of 70, as provided for by the Liberian Constitution

Associate Justice Kabineh Jan’eh at the funeral urged judges and magistrates to be dedicated servants of the judiciary, “Those who interacted with her said she had an unquenchable passion for the law.”

He said it is high time that judges deepened their commitment to the administering of justice.

Cll. Roland Dahn a former schoolmate of the late retired judge said she will be remembered for the immense contribution to the judiciary. “I was an activist and was always I problem with school administration and she will warn me to stay away from problem.”

Richard Klah, Judge of the Commercial remembered for being punctual, “She mostly preferred chamber section than going to court, also she was rigid.”