Coronavirus Fear Grabs Chief Justice

-Instructs Judges To Have Bench Trials

By R. Joyclyn Wea

As measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease in Liberia intensified, the Chief Justice Francis Korkpor has mandated a Bench trial instead of Jury trials.

The head of the Judiciary recently instructed Circuit Court Judges to encourage party litigants to opt for Bench trials where possible.

In the instance where a party litigant insists on his or her right to trial by jury, Justice Korkpor instructed judges to suspend the hearing of such case.

This is part of measures employed by the Judiciary to curtail the COVID-19 spread as well as adherence to the health emergency declared by the Ministry of Health.

Accordingly; all circuit and magisterial court judges have been further instructed to assign no more than two cases per day for trial.

“One case in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Only party litigants and their lawyers are permitted into the court for each trial. The public has also been warned to stay away from the court during this period so as to avoid close contact,” Chief Justice Korkpor said.

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