‘Education Remains Paramount for Population to Understand the Criminal Justice System’ –P4DP
MONROVIA – A national research and Peacebuilding NGO, Platform for Dialogue and Peace (P4DP) said the larger population of the country remains paramount to education and awareness in the Criminal Justice System of Liberia.
The Program Manager of P4DP, Kennedy Berrian, observed that assessment indicates that Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties have made considerate improvement in citizens’ education and knowledge to mitigate conflict, report crimes and in taking legal action.
In spite of the development, Mr. Berrian, also noticed, “there’s still need to address challenges faced by the larger population to overcome effecting the legal procedures and processes mostly remote dwellers and their stakeholders still lack education and awareness in legal education”.
Mr. Berrian made the remark at the United Nation Development Program (UNDP)’s ‘Rule By Law and Live by Law’ Joint Evaluation and Experience Sharing forum for 2019 and attended by community dwellers, students, security actors and legal practitioners held December 13, 2019 in Sinkor, Monrovia.
According to Mr. Berrian, “our Justice System has challenges on various levels in remote villages, particularly among community dwellers, students and their leaders on community and family level lacks the needed education”.
In 2018 the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (UN-OHCHR) initiated and sponsored the ‘Rule by Law and Live by Law’ project to provide legal education and supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and being implemented in collaboration with the Platform for Dialogue and Peace in two western counties, Grand Cape and Bomi Counties with Montserrado County.
The program has two phases and is intended to educate the population of the three counties through interaction with various stakeholders including the security actors, the police, immigration, the National Drugs Enforcement Agency and the judiciary.
The continuation of the project will help change the working of the justice system and create awareness for citizens to live in confirmative with the rules of law.
The implementing partner under the project is providing legal counsel in communities free of charge in and other services to the people and communities.
According to Mr. Berrian Peace building is a process and not an event, and therefore lauded the government inclusive of the security actors and other stakeholders to support P4DP and the donors to reach out to the unreached villages and communities.
The participants from the counties along with the legal and security actors addressed issues including legal procedures and court process, Non – Persistent Support, rape sexual and domestic violence.
Liberia in 1990 went into civil war with itself for more the 14 years, resulting in breaking down state structures, and the enforcement of the law, at least mention the unique pre-war function of the criminal justice system in Liberia.