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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid