MONROVIA-The 4th National Judicial Conference commenced in Monrovia on Monday, June 7, after ten years, this week commenced its first conference under the administration of Chief Justice Francis Kporkor.
The five days activities which is being convened under the theme: “the Law, Public Policy, and Economy” witnessed the presence of the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone, Desmond Babatunde Edwards, US Ambassador Michael A. McCarthy, EU Ambassador, Laurent Delahousse, ECAWOS Ambassador, Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo, and Ambassador of Sweden in Monrovia.
Speaking at the opening of the conference, Chief Justice Francis Korkpor called for the need of an unassailable tract of rule of law for the protection of the rights and freedoms of citizens and foreign nationals within the borders of Liberia.
Chief Justice Korkpor speaking when he officially opened the weeklong conference, he said the rule of Law is the cornerstone of democracy and democracy is strongly interlinked to development.
“This is consensus that democratic governance, established through competitive, free and fair elections, creates a stable environment in which businesses can thrive and the economy can flourish,” Chief Justice Korkpor explained.
He added that the core of the rule of Law principal is that all persons and authorities within the state, whether public or private, should be bound by and entitled to the benefit of Laws duly administered in courts of competent jurisdiction whose independence is not subject to any power or influence.
According to him, the Economy brings together Justices, Judges, Magistrates, Lawyers financial experts and other relevant stakeholders to discuss burning issues affecting law , Public Policy and the Liberian economy.
Korkpor mentioned that it has been more than eleven years since the last holding of the National Judicial Conference, noting that the Revised Rules of the Supreme Court of Liberia provides that the Court shall hold a National Conference at least once a year but due to constraints, this has not been possible for a long time until now.
Chief Justice Korkpor said, “As I have said before, law is much more dynamic and progressive than other fields of study. Locally and internationally, new laws are constantly being promulgated, while existing laws are repealed or amended to suit the time, condition and the needs of the people.
He continued, “this means that we who are in the field of law must keep pace with the changes and developments, therefore we must meet from time to time to discuss trending issues in law and the administration of Justice and harmonize views for the good of the public.
Meanwhile, the Chief Justice of Sierra Leone also explained that Liberia is a sisterly country to Sierra Leone, therefore they share the same idea as Supreme Courts bring the final decision in the Land.
Also speaking, ambassador of Sweden, Madam Ingrid Wetterqvist expressed concerns about the establishment of the War and Economic Crime in Liberia
Ambassador Wetterqvist said if the Liberian people want the War and Economic Crime Court, the Swedish government will support the process, but if they do not want such court, the Swedish government will equally support their quest.
Cllr. Musa Dean, Minister of Justice of Liberia stressed the need for the Judiciary to dispense Justice without fear adding that the rule of Law is not only the independence of the Judiciary, but the respect of the rule of Law.