Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. says the Judicial Branch has been lucky so far that there has been no incident that he is aware of with respect to coronavirus attacking any member of that branch of government, more than eight months since the virus hit Liberia.
“Just imagine, the level of the Supreme Court or the judges, if I were to contract the virus, it will impede the work of the Supreme Court,” Chief Justice Korkpor said Monday, 9 November during the opening of the criminal courts at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.
Since the health crisis in March this year, several Liberians and residents here have been affected by the virus, including top officials mainly from the Executive branch.
Though health officials have not declared Liberia free of the crisis, but Chief Justice Korkpor says they have been lucky at the judiciary because there has been no incident so far that he is aware of with respect to a member of that branch being attacked by the virus.
Due to the virus, Chief Justice Korkpor says the justices are not even meeting in the Supreme Court because the seating arrangement there is so close for justices that the possibility is there that if one person contracts it, they will pass it on to the other.
He notes that even if four of his colleagues on the Supreme Court bench sit on a matter, there will still be a problem because when they are split on an issue, there will be no decision.
He stresses that the measures are still in force, thereby calling on judges, magistrates and the lawyers to help the judiciary to enforce the health measures.”The Judiciary is a place of law and order. Maybe this branch of government can set the tone for respect of law and order in this country,” he says.
He notes that anyone who enters the premises of the Temple of Justice and the court compound should wear mask, instructing judges and lawyers to make sure they do not have any audience with any party litigant or anybody unless the person has the mask on.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Korkpor reveals that the Supreme Court met and lifted whatever restriction it had on jury trial on the basis of Covid, noting that prospective jurors were now seated at the opening of the court Monday due to the new decision of the Supreme Court. By Winston W. Parley