Liberia’s justice system is the foundation to genuine democracy and implementing effective Criminal Justice System (CJS) for the country, including rule of law and fundamental human rights, says Rural Human Rights Activists Program. The RHRAP says the justice system is heavily challenged here and needs urgent attention from national government, civil society and the international community.
A press statement issued in Monrovia, Monday May 31, states that delays in adjudicating cases on courts’ dockets increases pretrial detainees, which is contributing to community residents gradually losing confidence in the court system thus leading to increased violence and insecurity.
To enhance capacity of community residents to maintain rule of law and fundamental human rights, especially in rural communities, RHRAP recently conducted training workshops for community representatives in Lofa and Bong counties, which focused on the Criminal Justice Highway from arrest, detention and appearing in court.
It brought together 60 participants that represented various community segments of Bong and Lofa Counties. The Bong County workshop was held May 20 to 21, 2021 at the Bong Youth Center in Gbarnga City with 30 participants, facilitated by Atty. James Saybay, an experience human rights lawyer and activists, while the Voinjama workshop was held from 26-27 of May 2021, facilitated by Cllr. Luther Sumo, Lofa County Attorney.
The working sessions exposed community residents to a wide range of rule of law, and fundamental human rights related issues that will enable them to contribute to the maintenance of the rule of law and fundamental human rights. It is also gradually helping to restore community residents’ trust in the justice system, which is enhancing their abilities to peacefully engage justice sector actors on the rights of community residents in the application of the rule of law.
The Rural Human Rights Activists Programme (RHRAP) Inc. is a rights and peace organization that was established in December 1997 by a group of activists who believe the message of human rights should be spread to rural areas. It is a non-profit and non-political.
It is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).