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Liberia National Bar Association Extols Supreme Court for Suspending Judge

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Monrovia – Four days after the suspension of the Associate Judge of the Commercial Court Richard Klah, the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) has applauded the Supreme Court for its action.

The LNBA, in a statement issued Tuesday, said the conduct of Judge Klah, as detailed in the opinion, is “shameful, disgraceful and strengthens the general view of the Liberian people that lawyers and judges are corrupt”.

The Bar Association says the decision of the Supreme Court is “redemptive and progressive” in changing the minds of the people about the judiciary and the practice of law in Liberia. 

“The LNBA, therefore, encourages the Supreme Court to remain uncompromising in improving the image of the judiciary and the practice of law in Liberia through its decisions and judicial sanctions,” reads the statement.

“The LNBA underscores the point that the integrity of lawyers and judges is the foundation of needed faith and trust in the judiciary as a trusted forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes.”

At the same time, the LNBA has appealed to the government to provide needed logistical and financial support to the judiciary to prevent any excuse by any unprincipled actor in the judiciary for any conduct that undermines the integrity of the judiciary. 

The LNBA says the failure to pay judges – a judicial worker – on time and to provide financial and logistical support required for the effective functioning of the judiciary undermines justice, without which peace cannot be sustained. 

Meanwhile, the Bar Association has strongly condemned the violence that occurred over the weekend in Logan Town, between supporters of the two candidates that are expected to participate in the re-run of the by-election in District #15, Montserrado County.

The LNBA says such electoral violence undermines democracy and the building of a peaceful, progressive and prosperous nation. 

“The LNBA further maintains that electoral violence is most often a product of intolerance of opposing views and actions in the use of the political space by contending sides for a political seat,” LNBA statement said.

“Electoral violence is a product of the rejection of the outcome of an election by the losing party or candidate. Yet, democracy is based on dissenting views and actions in a process in which only one winner is expected to win the seat contested for. 

“If democracy is about the free competition of ideas and thoughts, losers should learn to graciously bow, while winners must tolerate and respect the losers. The Liberian National Bar Association calls on those who do not understand these basic truths about democracy not to venture into participating in an electoral process.”

The LNBA views the violence that occurred in Logan Town over the weekend as a very serious threat to respect for the rule of law during an election and therefore, applauds the initial reaction of President Weah of mandating the Minister of Justice to bring the perpetrators to justice. The LNBA will be monitoring the steps that will be taken to bring the perpetrators to justice.

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