The Justice and Security Joint Program in Liberia recently concluded the first joint-training workshop for justice and security actors from Bong, Nimba and Lofa Counties at the Gbarnga Regional Justice and Security Hub.
The Justice and Security Joint-Program Manager, Mrs. Joyce Cassel- Frankfort speaking at the close of the training indicated that the exercise was necessary to ensure a broader collaboration and coordination among the justice and security institutions in the hub’s region to enhance justice delivery.
She said that the process also took into account the need to boost the understanding of the various actors that are direct users of the joint facility on how it operates.
The justice and security program manager further mentioned that the program was part of the quick-start service delivery component of the hub in driving it to a more institutionalized system to ensure effectiveness in its operations.
She noted that as part of the institutionalization process at the regional hub, a full logistic base will be established to tackle the logistical challenges arising in the region among the various security agencies operating from the hub.
Madam Frankfort disclosed to journalists that the training also highlighted the issues of finalizing the Standard Operation Procedure or SOP of the hub which was earlier developed by heads of the various agencies in Monrovia making up the hub.
According to her, the input of the ‘lower-ranging actors to the SOP was very crucial if personnel at the hub were to effectively execute their responsibilities in keeping with ethical standards.
The Security and Justice Joint-Program manager further pointed out that the SOP has not been finalized because all of the players of the hub have not taken position at the center, which is still under construction.
Madam Frankfort averred that participants at the training identified the issue of bad road network as a major impediment in creating access to justice in the hub region, emphasizing the urgent need for the employment of mechanisms to ensure that the perceived obstacles are eased, noting that there were expected challenges in running the hub, but would be gradually improved because the establishment of the first regional hub in Gbarnga was in a pilot process.
The Justice and Security Joint program manager, however, expressed the hope that following the completion of the hub, the local population would have access to justice in a timely manner through collaborative efforts from the various actors. “The pour of resources by the various actors will enhance work at this hub,” Madam Frankfort asserted to participants attending the training.
Also speaking at the close of the training, Liberia’s Solicitor General, Cllr. Wilkins Wright who served as one of the lead discussants at the training, praised the efforts of the joint security and justice program for initiating consultations and coordination among the functionaries of government to ensure the substantial dispensation of justice.
The Liberian Chief Prosecutor said despite the different mandates of the various justice and security actors, they shared common obligations to bring relieve to the citizens through accessible and timely justice.
Outlining some of the challenges still confronting the justice and security sectors of the country, the Solicitor General mentioned the issues of mobility, capacity gap, as well as justice actors who do not see each other as partners working for one result, but competitors and rivals. He said that performing and behaving negatively affects the effectiveness of justice delivery to the citizens.
More than forty-five immigration officers, police, correction officers, magistrates, and circuit judges from Bong, Nimba, and Lofa Counties attended the just-ended first joint training for justice and security actors.
The Gbarnga regional justice and security hub, upon completion, will serve as a center for comprehensive justice delivery, involving the police, immigration, correction officers, probation officers, as well as the SGBV Crime Unit at the Ministry of Justice, Ninth Judicial Circuit and Gbarnga Magisterial Courts.