Liberia: New Chief Justice Promises Equal Justice for All; Says She Wants More Women on the Bench

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Monrovia – Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. You, has assured the public that she would dispense justice equally to whether rich or poor, powerful or common.

During the opening of court for the October Term, she said: “I am renewing my commitment to continue to dispense justice without fear and favor. And readiness to continue to treat all party litigants appearing before me equally, without regard to status, whether rich or poor.”

she assured the public that the Constitution must always be used as a yardstick to measure the issues of great moments, and the burning contentions that litigants will bring for final adjudication.

In her quest to dispense justice void of any effect, Justice Youh informed President Weah who was in attendance at the program that she won’t date abuse the authority to grant justice partially.

At the same time, Justice Youh rambles, that having served previously as Associate Justice for almost nine years, she is aware of the great responsibilities and the heavy burdens expected to be carried out and expresses her willingness to do so.

Chief Justice Youh is at the same time yearning for a female-dominant Supreme Court Beach, in her quest for gender empowerment in Liberia.

She noted that got too long males have monopolized the Supreme Court Bench and that even with two females on the bench she still emphasized the need that more females, if possible the full bench to be occupied by females.

She termed as ironic gender sensitivity for only three females to be elevated to the Chief Justice post in 175 years of the country’s existence, while only seven have served as Associate Justices.

She named two Chief Justices in order of their appointments as Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris (now Allison) (April-September, 1997) and Cllr. Gloria M. Musu Scott (September1997-2003).

Justice Youh said the remaining four Associate Justices also graced the Bench with unparalleled qualifications, yet maintaining their femininity, beauty, and skills including Angie-Brooks Randolph, the 1st female Associate Justice, Felecia V. Coleman, Gladys Johnson, and Jamesetta Howard-Wolokollie.

Besides, Justice Youh is perturbed that the country’s legal profession is still male-dominated due to some females not being able to embrace themselves.

She called on females wanting to take on the challenge of moving high in the legal field, to begin with, a solid educational background and knowledge of the law.

“The foundation of these attributes should be a solid education and knowledge of the law, to strike a balance or at best, surpass our male counterparts to the extent where all the five Justices will be females and that majority of the Counsellors attending the Supreme Court’s Opening will be female lawyers,” Justice Youh stressed.

“Like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court, I do agree and believe that if the Supreme Court can have five male Justices for several decades in the past, then, it’s fair enough to have five female justices going forward.

She added: “In light of this, I am deeply humbled for my nomination, confirmation, appointment, and commission as the third female Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia. Additionally, I am elated by the fact that my appointment as Chief Justice is similar to the late Chief Justice James A.A. Pierre who has served for almost nine years as an Associate Justice (like me) and was appointed to the Office of Chief Justice by President William V.S. Tubman.”

Lauding President Weah for her preferment to server serve the country’s judicial top seat, Justice Youh committed herself to dispense justice partially as she takes her new seat.

“I feel highly honored today when by this appointment you have placed in my hands the custody of the Constitution; to protect it and to guard it jealously as the principal working tool of this new office,” she asserted.”

For his part, Justice Minister, Musa Dean has portrayed the ascendancy of Chief Justice Youh, the third female on the Supreme Court bench, as tremendous progress in promoting gender equality.

Minister Dean said that women are found in powerful positions in the government and that it was possible since the George Weah administration has been on strengthening laws to end violence against women.

“The Rape Law, the Children Law and the

Domestic Violence Laws are all being vigorously enforced,” Minister Dean noted.

“The proposed 30% gender quota in the Legislature will soon be signed into law.

We are proud as a nation to witness your ascension to the important and much-revered position of Chief Justice.”

He informed the gathering that Liberia has made tremendous strive in promoting gender equality and urged Chief Justice Youh to treat all party litigants appearing before her equally, without regard to status, whether rich or poor.

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