Liberia: ‘Judiciary Open To Criticism’ – Chief Justice Francis Korkpor

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MONROVIA – Chief Justice Francis Korkpor says the Judiciary is open to accept frank and candid criticisms of judicial opinions and decisions. Heh stressed that frank criticisms do not harm or pose any threat to the independence of the Judiciary.

Justice Korkpor said, criticisms actually help to calm and insulate the independence of the Judiciary, with a constructive critique of decisions and actions that put them on guard to be fair in cases, without seeking approval from the public.

“In fact, it may sound paradoxical, but it is true that such criticism have to insulate the independence of the Judiciary,” Chief Justice Korkpor said.

According to him, rendering a public opinion on a matter is not always legally prudent, urging judges to be cautious in making decisions.

Speaking Monday, October 11, at the opening of the October Term of the Supreme Court in Monrovia, Chief Justice Korkpor further noted that the public perceptions or opinions are not always accepted within the pillar of the law, noting that the deliberate misconceptions of judicial decisions or actions, do not only hurt the judiciary but is a gross to disservice to the country.

“The deliberate misinterpretation of judicial decisions and or actions extensively for other political and other selfish reasons, does not only hurt the judiciary as an institution, but it is a gross disservice to out nation,” Korkpor said.

These acts, he said, are leading to character assassination and misrepresentation of the judiciary, which go without redress, leaving the public to judge the judiciary negatively.

Justice Korkpor further recounted how Justices, Judges, and magistrates continue to receive threats or harm. This, he said, creates a chilling effect to undermine the rule of law.

He said, they will not shy away from their responsibilities and will continue to decide cases based on the facts and the law.

At the same time, Justice Korkpor is calling on the government for the protection of ordinary citizens in the wake of recent reports of killings, whether real or orchestrated need to be fully investigated.

He said due to the fact that actions are not taken against perpetrators of threats, perpetrators are now putting it into action.

Justice Korkpor said those investigating such matters must be robust in playing their rightful role. He added that it is not enough to condemn these wanton acts as there is the need that cases must be handled to the logical conclusion.

“Justices and magistrates will not shy away from doing the right thing all of the time. We will continue to decide cases based on the da fats and laws as contain thereto and not under any pressure or undue influence,” Korkpor maintained.

Chief Justice Korkpor at the same time said actors responsible to address the situation must not wait until justices and magistrates become victims before taking action.

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