Senator Jewel Howard Taylor has submitted to Senate plenary a letter asking for their attention, review and subsequent endorsement of a draft Legislative Bill entitled: “An Act to amend Title 17 of the Penal Code Laws of Liberia, known as the Judiciary Law of 1972; to provide for the establishment of the Corruption Court of Liberia.”
She said the draft Act is being submitted in response to the high level of alleged corruption cases and the public perception that the endemic and systematic corruption has engulfed “our governance structure; and that we the lawmakers have not shown enough political will to put in place the requisite structure, which will enable the Judiciary deal with corruption in a holistic way.”
The Bong County lawmaker told her colleagues that it is her ardent desire that “in consideration of the urgency of the passage of this bill that we will do all within our power to expedite and have this critical draft bill into law.”
Immediately upon passage of the Act, Corruption Courts will be created as specialized courts and established in each of the counties, initially commencing with Montserrado County.
The procedure and enforcement of the mandate and judgments of the Corruption Court shall be the same as that of the Circuit Courts in criminal cases, except as modified in this act or the Rules of the Corruption Court as may be promulgated afterwards.
The court will be composed of a panel of three judges, one of whom shall be called the Chief Judge and the administrative head of the court. Decisions of the court shall be by majority.
The judges of the court shall have the power and authority to issue orders in the nature of writs of prohibition, to inferior courts and their officers; will aid the exercise of the appellate jurisdiction over said inferior courts.
“In terms of appointment and tenure, the President “shall nominate, and with the consent of the Senate, appoint and commission three judges of the circuit court stature, who shall preside over the Corruption Court.”
The Bill is now with the Senate Committee on Judiciary, chaired by Senator Varney G. Sherman.