“Desist from Stealing Judges’ Rulings before Release”

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Associate Magistrate Warns

A journalist now serving as a magistrate of the Brewerville Magisterial Court  has advised employees of the judiciary who are in the constant habit of sneaking sensitive court documents out of judges’ offices to either desist from the practice, or they would face the full weight of the law if caught in the act.

Associate Magistrate Falllah J. Matthews said stealing judges’ judgments and exposing them to the parties before they are delivered constitutes a clear violation of confidentiality, which he described as ‘evil.’ He questioned the transparency of the country’s courts if such practices are being condoned. “I am going to ensure that those engaged in such habits are held accountable and dealt with as provided by our laws,” Magistrate Matthews said.

Matthews made the statement recently when he took over as Associate Magistrate of the Brewerville Magisterial Court, outside of Monrovia. He was a former judicial correspondent for the Liberia Broadcasting Corporation assigned at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia.

“Violation of judges’ confidentiality by stealing their rulings and linking of court documents to the public are the two evils permeating our court system, and that needs to be stopped,” the Brewerville Associate Magistrate declared. “I am very sure same will not surface in this court.”

Matthews said in most instances, before a judge delivered his or her ruling, the contents had already been leaked to the public, which behavior, he said, is undermining efforts of the judiciary.

“If this happens in our court, we are going to hold people entrusted with court documents responsible for the consequences,” Matthews warned.

He meanwhile pledged his commitment to dispense justice in line with the dictates of the laws of Liberia.

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