-Chief Justice Korkpor
Chief Justice, His Honor Francis Korkpor says, the rule of law in any society is fundamental to national growth and remains the cornerstone of Democracy. He says the rule of law is fundamental to national growth, international peace and security that ensure protection for rights of citizens and foreign nationals within the borders of Liberia.
He notes that democracy is strongly intertwine with development, saying there’s a census that democratic governance established through free and fair elections that creates a stable environment in which businesses and the economy flourish.
Chief Justice Korkpor spoke Monday, June 07, 2021 during opening ceremony of the 4th national judicial conference held at the Ministerial Complex in Oldest Congo Town under the theme: “the Law Public Policy and the Economy.”
He described law as a system of rules made by a country or community to regulate it’s members, noting that when the laws are violated, appropriate penalties are given, while describing public policy as a set of actions or decisions taking by government or public officials to addressing issues that affect society.
According to the Chief Justice, the rule of law and public policy must therefore work hands in hands, adding that all public policy decisions must be taken with the rule of law as guiding principles to avoid arbitrary actions.
According to Chief Korkpor, the revised rules of the Supreme Court of Liberia mandate the Court to hold a national judicial conference once a year, but due to financial constraints this has not been possible for a long time, since it was last held in 2010 under his predecessor, the late Chief Justice Johnny N. Lewis.
“As I said before, law is much more dynamic and progressive than other fields of studies, locally and internationally new laws are constantly being promulgated while existing laws are being repealed or amended to suite the time, provision and the need of the people”, he explains.
He continues that this means people who are in the field of law must keep pace on changes and development, must meet every time and discuss trending issues in law and harmonize views for the public.
Justice Korkpor extols the government, particularly President Weah for making funds available for the holding of the conference, saying, “We hope that from now on, funds will be provided on a regular basis to make this conference an annual event as envisaged by the Supreme Court.”
He also lauds the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the American Bar Association (ABA) for supporting the conference.
This year’s national judicial conference brings together Justices, Judges, Magistrates, Lawyers, Financial Experts and other stakeholders to discuss burning issues that affect law, public policy, and the economy.
The President of the Liberia National Bar Association or LNBA Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe said though the Bar welcomes the holding of the conference, there is a need for Justices and Judges to act accordingly in order to give citizens confidence to seek justice. “We also hope that at the end of this, what we strive to achieve in the justice system will be improved more”, Cllr. Gongloe said.
He said it’s time to act so that those who seek Justice will see a independent judiciary standing with the tower of the executive and the legislature in the interest of all those seeking justice. “This is what our Constitution refers to when it says justice without fear, or favor.”
By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne