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‘Worse and ridiculous’

–Judge Dickson describes salaries at the judiciary

By Lincoln G. Peters  

Criminal Court “C” resident circuit Judge A. Blamo Dickson has described salaries of employees at the judiciary as very irregular and painful.

Delivering a charge at the opening of the first judicial circuit criminal courts “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D,” the judge lamented that the situation at the Judiciary has gone from bad to worse, and ridiculous.

He stated that the disbursement of judicial workers’ salaries is very irregular and painful because they are working for sixty days to get a one-month salary.

Last week, Justices of the Supreme Court here ordered Finance Minister Samuel Tweah’s arrest before he could pay the Judicial branch one month’s salary ahead of his appearance for a contempt hearing.

But Judge Dickson revealed during the delivery of his charge that the one month’s salary cannot be paid in full.

He stated that they can receive 20% in forty-five days and the balance 80% in sixty days.

He pointed out that the Financial Autonomy Act of the Judicial branch of government is being grossly violated by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning.

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“Presently, the situation has gone from bad to worse, and ridiculous to the extent that our motivations have dwindled,” said Judge Dickson. 

“Notwithstanding, we hope that you will be restoring our high motivation on the job for us to dispense transparent justice without fear or favor,’’ he urged the government.

Judge Dickson explained that some staff of the Judiciary have graduated from various universities in Liberia with Bachelor’s degrees in various disciplines.

He said others have been sent abroad for training and are back with Master’s degrees in various disciplines, but they are still earning US$150.00 and LD$4,000.00.      

To sum up, he said, they heard the Chief Justice’s response to questions posed to her about her objective of the judicial branch during her confirmation hearing at the Liberian Senate.

He said they also [followed] her commissioning at the Executive Mansion, along with her charge on 10 October 2022 during the opening of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

“On those three occasions, you assured the Liberian people and the world at large of judicial independence, rule of law, due process of law, uprightness, human rights, due diligence, and women empowerment,” Judge Dickson reminded Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh.

He said she promised to build the capacity of the Judicial Inquiry Commission and the Grievance and Ethics Committee of the Supreme Court. “We are sure that you will succeed,’’ said Judge Dickson.

Responding to Judge Dickson’s charge, Chief Justice Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh said she takes the concern and issues raised seriously, but it needs the collective effort of everyone to address the concerns.

Chief Justice Yuoh noted that it’s the mandate of the judges to dispense justice without fear or favor, urging that all should come together and make sure that the issues and concerns raised are addressed.  

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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