News / Africa

Appointment of Liberia’s Acting Chief Justice Questioned

Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia with Justice Francis Korkpor frontJustices of the Supreme Court of Liberia with Justice Francis Korkpor front
x
Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia with Justice Francis Korkpor front
Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia with Justice Francis Korkpor front
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty
Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has appointed Associate Justice Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. as Chief Justice Ad Interim of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

This follows the early retirement of Chief Justice Johnnie Lewis due to failing health.

The Executive Mansion said the president asked Justice Korkpor to serve as Chief Justice Ad Interim until a Chief Justice is nominated and confirmed by the Liberian Senate.  

Counselor Jerome Verdier, former chairman of Liberia’s disbanded Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said President Sirleaf’s use of the phrase Ad Interim in naming Justice Korkpor as Acting Chief Justice of Liberia is unconstitutional.

“The constitution requires the appointment of a Chief of Justice, not Ad Interim, and then with the consent of the Senate. So to do otherwise, is unconstitutional and I think amounts to unnecessary interference of the work of the Supreme Court because the court under the Constitution has its own set governing rules. So, in instances where there is not a Chief Justice, the rules of the court will prevail, and the justices amongst themselves, in exercising the rules of the court, will know or could announce who is acting Chief Justice until an appointment is made,” he said.

The Liberian Senate is currently on its annual recess until January 2013.  Verdier said President Sirleaf could have waited until the Senate returns from its recess before making the appointment for them to confirm, but not to make it “Ad Interim”.
Butty interview with Verdier
Butty interview with Verdieri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

“If the legislature is on recess, the Chief Justice can be appointed pending confirmation. The Supreme Court will not be held in abeyance because the legislature has not done its confirmation. Without her action, the Supreme Court will still function, and the most senior [Justice] amongst them will act as interim head. But it’s not her place to tell them who should act as interim head,” Verdier said.

The naming of Justice Korkpor as acting Chief Justice Ad Interim has been welcomed by many Liberians. But a few have raised concerns that Justice Korkpor does not hold an LL.M. (Master of Laws), an internationally recognized postgraduate law degree.
                   
But Verdier says an LL.M. degree is not a requirement with respect to the credentials of law practitioners in Liberia.

“Substantively, you should attend a law school from any other country that is recognized by Liberia and then you should have tenure. So, it is legal education, it is tenure, and it is moral standing. And in the case of Justice Korkpor, I’m confident if “Ad Interim” had not been added to his appointment, Liberians would have embraced it whole-heartedly. Be that as it may, there is no question about his moral standing or his qualification,” Verdier said.

Reportedly, Justice Korkpor is a graduate of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia. He is a former Interim Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and a trial lawyer. He is also the longest serving Justice of the current Supreme Court Bench.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hansen S. Hne from: Zwedru, Grand Gedeh Count
September 14, 2012 11:54 AM
My only concern now is I hope President Sirleaf will respect the constitution of our country(LIBERIA) to avoid problems.If there is a need to appoint a Chief Justice immediately let her do it.Now if Counselor Jerome Verdier is telling the Liberian People the true per the constitution then let the president respect the law.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid