MONROVIA, Montserrado – Supreme Court Chief Justice Francis Korkpor has disclosed that the judiciary is facing serious financial challenges, which are hampering the court’s ability to function.
The chief justice made the revelation on Monday, August 13, during the opening program of the August Term of Court for Criminal Courts A, B, C, D, and E at the Temple of Justice. During his address, Korkpor noted that due to the bad road conditions and insufficient funds to fly a judge for the opening of court in an unspecified county, a clerk was authorized to open the court, instead of the assigned judge.
According to Korkpor, if the court does not function properly, the pursuit of justice in the country will halt and the rights of citizens will be abused daily.
“Policymakers should be able to cater to the judiciary, especially the courts, in the way that we will continue to function void of corruption since we are the wheels that guide the society,” he added
The chief justice’s comments come amid numerous media reports of delays in the salaries and benefits paid to judicial staff and judges.
Korkpor also admonished judges to be careful and deliberate in their judgements.
“When you see that a person is not at flight risk to leave the country or someone of [high] moral [character] in the society is willing to sign for that person who allegedly committed a crime – in bringing that person to court every day the court calls for appearance until the case is adjudicated – and the crime charged on the person is not a capital offense, I don’t see the reason why judges will be putting people who are not supposed to be in jail in jail,” he said.
Judge Roosevelt Willie of Criminal Court A delivered the charge on behalf of the five judges of the criminal courts. He said there have been past reports that the judiciary was being interfered with, judges and magistrates were not adequately compensated, and there were constant delays in their salaries and benefits, which allowed corruption to take place.
“It is often said that those who forget their history do repeat the same mistakes, and development eludes them because the world is not waiting for those, who failed to learn their lessons,” Willie said, encouraging the judiciary to learn from the past to improve conditions within the justice system.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah