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
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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid