The Assigned Circuit Judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Maryland has recommended the introduction of public awareness of the law so as to erase the negative perceptions about the court.
Cllr. Jeeplah Tiklo Konton says, if this is done, the public will understand and appreciate how the justice system works in the country.
According to Judge Konton, many citizens harbored negative perceptions about the justice system in the country due to the ignorance and failure of judicial and state actors to create civic education and awareness on the law.
Judge Konton says if awareness on the law is introduced to the public, it will help to erase the negative perceptions about lawyers and reduce tensions between the courts and party litigants.
He made the statement when he delivered his charge during the formal opening of the May term of court at the fourth judicial circuit in Harper City, Maryland County.
Also speaking, the Coordinator of the Ministry of Justice Regional Justice and Security hub 2 in Maryland welcomed and acknowledged Judge Konton’s recommendation for the introduction of civic education of the law through awareness to the public in the region.
Mr. Johnson said as head of the Public Services Outreach unit of the Regional Justice and Security hub program in Maryland, Grand Kru and River Gee, he will collaborate with Prosecution and Defense as well as City solicitors, judges of subordinate courts, JPC and Civil Society Organizations to increase awareness on Access to Justice in the region.
The MOJ hub-2 coordinator proposed for the establishment of a probation service office for prisoners wanting rehabilitation through community services after serving one-third of their respective sentences.
Mr. Johnson says the establishment of a probation service program in the region with a Parole Board will help save the Pro-Poor government of needed resources and address the issues of severe overcrowding in some prisons, inadequate health services, inadequate food and drinking water, poor hygiene amongst others.
He averred that since the probation Service Program for prisoners was launched in 2013 in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, north-central Liberia, it has helped to address overcrowdiness in counties it was launched. However, according to Johnson, the South eastern region is yet to benefit from such service, as such, there was a need for the consideration of the service in the region.
He admonished the five Southeastern region Legislative caucuses to support the Executive for the establishment of a probation service program as they are the direct representatives of the people in the region.
During the opening of the May term of court in Harper, three graduates from the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law were admitted into the Maryland Bar Association, while Atty. Joshua G.K. Odoi, former Ministry of Justice’ SGBV focal lawyer in hub-2 was inducted as Public Defender in Maryland.
Judge Konton earlier announced on the dockets 12-criminal cases and 31-civil cases at the 4th Judicial Circuit Court for the May term of court in Harper.