Judiciary Committed To Fight Against Rape

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-Calls On Executive To Invest In Establishing More Criminal Courts “E”

By R. Joyclyn Wea:j.wea@newrepublicliberia.com

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia has called on the Weah’s led government to aid the Liberian Judiciary in establishing more criminal courts across the country to help in the speedy adjudication of rape and sexual and gender based violence cases.

There are three Criminal Courts “E” in the Country. One in Montserrado, Bong, and Nimba Counties which under stress in terms of attending to the growing wave of rape cases that are coming out on a daily basis in different parts of the Country.

Francis Korkpor mentioned that to have Criminal Courts “E” established in Liberia and its environs will promptly address the situation as well as create some deterrence for those who commit this ugly act.

Speaking at the closing of the Supreme Court for the March Term 2020, Justice Korkpor said “We will ask the Government since it is so concern about rape and we at the Judicial are also concern about rape; to see the need that we should put our money where our interest are. That is to say help us to establish more Criminal Court “E” throughout the country this is one way of helping to cut this horrible act,” Justice Korkpor plea.

The decentralization of Criminal Court “E” by the chief justice is key among the 72 recommendations within the validated 2020 Anti-SGBV Roadmap document on ending SGBV 2020-2022. 

Due to the spike in SGBV particularly rape cases, the government and partners convey a national conference aimed to rally all SGBV stakeholders to discuss openly and contribute collectively to the end of rape and other forms of sexual and gender based violence in Liberia, thus serving as a validation of the “Government of Liberia and Partners’ Roadmap on ending SGBV by 2020-2022.”

The Priest of the high court noted that they in the judicial will cooperate and will do all they can to fight the issue of rape in Liberia, but will do it from the stand point of the law so that they remain a nurture party both to the perpetrators and survivors.

He further disclosed that the Judicial is working with international partners and government itself to make sure criminal court “E” is establish within all the Judicial Circuits throughout the Country.

Chief Justice Korkpor emphasized that they are going to share statistics on rape from the court so that it may be used in whatever planning, policy decisions that have to be made by Government, but said the Judicial will not participate in either of these processes.

This is because the statute under which the judicial operates prohibits it from speaking on national issues or participates in decisions that may lead to the formation of law.

“Because of the alarming rate of rape in our country now, people are calling for death penalty etc,  we make not comments even though we do not support anybody to rape, but we do not make law therefore we have no comments. Ours is when the cases come to us, we look at the factual situation objectively, listen to the witnesses and are able to pass judgment and give judgment where judgment is due. Our contribution to this process is in that for,” he added.

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