-Justice Ja’neh Terms Retirement In Liberia
By R. Joyclyn Wea
Associate Justice, Kabineh Ja’neh of the Supreme Court of Liberia has termed as ‘painful’ retirement in Liberia.
According to Justice Ja’neh, unlike in the past, it is very difficult for people to express willingness to be retired on grounds that there is nothing to keep a person up after retirement from office.
He spoke at the retirement ceremony of Associate Justice Philip Banks held on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at the Supreme Court of Liberia on the grounds of the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.
Justice Ja’neh explained that in time past, there were adequate arrangements made to keep retirees up, indicating that such system of retirement benefits has been disregarded by succeeding governments.
“My first public service engagement was at the Freeport of Monrovia, working there as a clerk in the civil engineering department. I saw workers crying for their retirement. It was a big issue those days, because workers haven’t believed that they have been cheated in any form and manner by extension for his time to retire,” he narrated
He lamented that people in Liberia of yesterday fought for retirement because every arrangement was made in the system to ensure retirees went home and remain capable of putting food on his or her table, something he claimed appears to suffer a serious disruption today.
The Associate Justice indicated that just benefits of chief justices, associate justices of the Supreme Court and court actors have been disregarded by succeeding governments despite the new judiciary law that was enacted by the legislature.
“Section 13.4 captures compensation of judiciary actors and just benefits. The salaries of justices, chief justice and stipendiary magistrates, shall be fit by statue and tradition provided by annual budgetary allocation. The salaries to be provided for chief justice of the Supreme Court shall be the same as that of the vice president as per the sitting of the salary and benefits of the chief justice not only set the baseline for chief justice, judicial officers, but also the entire occupants of the judiciary this is because the retiree on the bench has fifty percent of the salary benefit; I’m very sure that this law will begin to be apply vigorously,” he asserted.
However, Justice Ja’neh revealed that Former Justice Glady Johnson was in court recently with a petition seeking a writ to demand government in keeping with law.
Meanwhile, it is a decree to inscribe in the organic law of the land that the Chief Justice, Associate Justices and all court workers shall be retired at the age of 70.
It is in keeping with said status of law that Justice Banks retired as member of the full bench of that honorable court.
Article 72(b) of the 1986 Liberian constitution which provides: “the chief justice and associate justices of the supreme court and judges of subordinate courts of record shall be retired at the age of seventy (70); provided, however that a justice or judge who has attained that age may continue in office for as long as may be necessary to enable him to render judgment or preform any other judicial duty in regard to proceedings entertained by him before he attained that age.”
Justice Banks was nominated, confirmed, and appointed to the supreme court bench as an associate justice in 2010 by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a position he continues to serve with loyalty, dedication and patriotism.
Currently, Associate Justice Banks chairs the “Judiciary Inquiry Commission”, the statutory body of the Supreme Court responsible to investigate complaints against judges and magistrates of the judiciary branch of government and is also expected to hand down opinions of the high court today at the close of the March 2018 term of court.
The aged associate justice has served the bench for over eight years and has reached the age set for justices to retire from the honorable Supreme Court bench on June 18, 2018.
Justice Banks would now be more active and continue to render professional services to the country legal system as disclosed during the quarterly assembly of the Liberia national bar (LNB) quarterly assembly prior to his retirement months ago.
Banks also served as a law clerk, of the Supreme Court from 1973 to 1974; a legal counsel at the ministry of lands, mines and energy from 1974 to 1975 and subsequently as an Associate and Managing Director of the Morgans Crimes and Harmon’s Law Firm 1976-1980.