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

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.