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Supreme Court opens March Term amidst jammed Docket

LINA/Benjamin S. Taingay
Supreme Court's Chief Justice, Francis Korkpor
Supreme Court's Chief Justice, Francis Korkpor

MONROVIA, LIBERIA- Chief Justice, Francis Korkpor, has revealed that the Supreme Court’s docket still remains overcrowded for its October Term, despite rendering opinions in 34 cases during the March Term.

Chief Justice Korkpor did not disclose the exact number of cases currently on the Supreme Court’s docket, but expressed concern about its over crowdedness.  

He made the statement at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia Monday, October 10, 2016, during the formal opening of the Court for its October Term.

The Chief Justice said: “The cases decided were just drops in the bucket,” and attributed the situation to requirements by Article 20 of the 1986 Constitution.”

Article 20 of the 1986 Constitution provides the right of appeal from judgments, decrees, decisions, and rulings of courts, as well as administrative boards, or agencies except where the Supreme Court shall be held inviolable.

“It is highly improbable that the high court will be exhausted in any term, given the requirement that all appeals be passed upon by it, especially when it has just five justices,” Justice Korkpor also said.

“The overwhelming view, to address docket overcrowding, is the creation of appellate courts to deal with appeals of general nature for the high court to hear and decide appeals, mainly in constitutional matters.”

He recalled the creation of appellate courts by Associate Justice, Kabineh Janeh, when he addressed the National Law Day program on May 6 in the Banquet Hall of the Temple of Justice.

The Chief Justice Korkpor then lauded the UN Mission in Liberia for boosting the Judiciary’s reform initiative by building, rehabilitating and helping the Supreme Court to train judicial staff, including judges and layers.

In remarks, the President of the Liberia National Bar Association, Moses Paegar, praised Justice Korkpor for acknowledging the essence for the establishment of the Appellate Courts of Liberia.

According to Cllr. Paegar, the establishment of this court has been seen by many as one of several measures, adding: “There is no gainsaying, the most important of them necessary for decongestion of the age-old overcrowded docket of this honorable Court.”

“The Association has already constituted an Appellate Court Drafting Committee, headed by Cllr. David Jallah to draft the appropriate legislation for passage by the National Legislature,” Cllr. Paegar said.

The occasion was graced by Vice President, Joseph Boakai, River Gee County Senator, Conmany Wesseh, and U.N. Deputy SRSG, as well as Counselors, the diplomatic Corps, the media, among others.
 

 


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