LNBA, LRA Sign Mou to License Qualified Lawyers
Monrovia – The Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) and the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) Tuesday, November 26, 2019, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at licensing qualified members of the Bar.
Both the LNBA President, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe and Secretary-General Bobby Livingstone signed on behalf of the Bar while the Commission General of the LRA, Mr. Thomas Doe Nah and head of the Legal Department of LRA signed the MOU for the entity. The signing ceremony took place at the LRA’s Headquarters at ELWA Junction.
Before the MOU was signed, Cllr. Gongloe stated that the LNBA is a professional organization composed of lawyers, who have obtaine law degrees, passed the exams for qualification but that it has realized that some people who have not obtained the necessary criteria to become lawyers are moving around and impersonating to be lawyers.
Gongloe added that qualified lawyers, who will pay the necessary license fee at the LRA will take their receipt to the LNBA where they will be licensed as practicing lawyers in the country.
“As a qualified lawyer, you should obtain a law degree and have practiced in the country for the period of five years to be admitted to the Supreme Court and subsequently the LNBA,” disclosed Gongloe; adding that his institution’s agreement with the LRA is also intended to weed out non-lawyers.
The LNBA President indicated that the MOU will allow the LRA to perform its statutory duty in collaboration with the LNBA, as a professional body.
LRA Commission General Thomas Doe Nah responding, said the LRA was going to work with the LNBA in this direction to ensure that the right people are lisenced to practice law in the country.
“We are going to collect the fees as stipulated in the MOU because this will generate revenue for government and will also help the LNBA,” said Commissioner General Nah.
The MOU, which was signed between the parties, states that pursuant to the Liberia Revenue Act of 2013, the LRA was established to administer the Liberia Revenue Code for the assessment and collection of revenues and to account for all revenues to which the revenue laws apply and deposit all amounts assessed and collected into the Consolidated Fund and ensure compliance with the code and regulation.
The LNBA-LRA MOU further indicated that the LNBA being one of the professional organizations within the Republic of Liberia was established by an act of the Legislature in 1907 and being a professional organization, its members are by law required to pay annual license’s fees to the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
The MOU also states that Section 17.9.1 of the Judiciary Laws provides no person shall practice law or appear before any court as an attorney or counselor-at-law without a valid license as a lawyer while section 17.9.2 of the Judiciary law provides all licenses for attorney or counselors shall be issued by the Bureau of Revenues of the county or territory in which the licensees reside.
MOU further states that obligations and benefits from it shall inure to, and be binding upon the parties hereto, their assigns, legal representatives and successors in-interest and in business as if they were specifically named.
“Whenever a default occurs, the non-defaulting party shall have the option to terminate this MOU upon 10 working days prior to written notice to the defaulting party,” the MOU added.