‘Executive, Legislative Should Not Interfere with Judiciary Functions’

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Justice Yussif Kaba

Says Judge Kaba

Ignoring the ongoing impeachment proceedings by the majority members of the Lower House against Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, Judge Yussif Kaba of the Civil Law Court ‘A’ at the Temple of Justice yesterday advised both the Executive and the Legislative branches of government not to interfere with the functions of the judiciary.

Judge Kaba made the statement when he delivered his charge at the opening of the Civil Law Courts, “A and B” reminding both houses that any interference would undermine and erode the public’s confidence in the judiciary that includes the Supreme Court.

The court, Kaba maintained, was the highest tribunal in the country for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of Liberia and, as the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged to ensure the Liberian people the promise of equal justice under law and thereby also functions as a guardian and an interpreter of the Constitution.

However, the civil law court judge reiterated that any attempt to interfere with its function would lead the country to chaos.

“Any interference by the other branches would make the public not to have confidence in the court’s system and the citizens may likely take the law into their own hands resulting to chaos and no government would want that to happen,” Judge Kaba emphasized.

It may be recalled that confrontation between some members of the House of Representatives and Justices of the Supreme Court started in July this year, when a petition, signed by the acting chairman of the ruling CDC in Montserrado County, Representative Thomas P. Fallah of District #5, seconded by Rep. Acarous Gray of District #8, a staunch member of the CDC, called for Justice Ja’neh’s impeachment.

In a communication addressed to Speaker Chambers, the two CDC lawmakers argued that Justice Ja’neh should be impeached, ousted and removed from the Supreme Court on grounds of “proven misconduct, abuse of public office, wanton abuse of judicial discretion, fraud, misuse of power and corruption.”

Shortly afterwards, on Tuesday, July 17, a Bill of Impeachment Petition, together with a motion, was submitted by Grand Kru County District #1 Representative Nathaniel Barway and that submission received a favorable vote in the House of Representatives. In an apparent attempt to fast-track his colleagues’ submission, Speaker Chambers then set up an 8-man Ad-Hoc Committee to review and investigate the Impeachment Bill as well as to write-up the process the proceedings were to take. That committee was given three weeks, as of July 17, to begin work and report to Plenary.

While members of the committee were still reviewing their task and terms of reference, Justice Yuoh issued a Writ of Prohibition, ordering them to stay all further proceedings in the matter.

But on Tuesday, August 14, the House voted to ‘throw out’ the Writ of Prohibition through a motion proffered by Montserrado County District #16 Representative Dixon W. Seboe, who is also a member of the Ad Hoc Committee to review and investigate the Bill of Impeachment as well as the write-up of the Impeachment Proceedings.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

2 COMMENTS

  1. It’s unfortunate that the Judge chose to elaborate on the need for non-interference by the two other branches of government in a way that a reasonable person can discern he’s been critical of recent actions by the House, since his comments referenced the Court as the final arbiter, which is at the Supreme Court level, of the Constitution. I’m inclined to think he should’ve focused more on the status of the Supreme Court and what it can do to obtain and maintain its reputation as an institution of trust by the people. I was rather surprised when he even suggested that actions by the Legislature against the Supreme Court could result in chaos. That’s almost an extortionate statement. I attended a forum where Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Elana Kagan, expressed her concerns about the Supreme Court maintaining its credibility so people will continue to trust its decisions and not simply look at it as another partisan political opinions. She give examples where you had a Republican President, George Bush, nominated a conservative Justice (Souter) who ended up switching to the liberal moderate wing of the court, and vice versa where John Paul Stevens ended up on the conservative side of the court. It was never predictable which way the court would rule on major issues. There was always a moderating consensus Justice who prevented the court from leaning to either extreme based on politics. Now, partisanship as dominated process so much now that she fears, people will stop trusting the Court. Her hope, which I believe may happen is that the
    current Chief Justice, John Roberts, will play that neutered role, though he’s a conservative. He respects the institution and wouldn’t allow an extreme justice to make it appear partisan.

    In Liberia, the judiciary is not part of a particular administration and don’t have to be a salesman for the administration policy item like the pro-poor agenda of the current administration. Its role is to impart justice, regardless of the political ideology of the governing party. But, every time I read of a Judge at some ceremony with the President, I hear them pledging their support for his pro-poor agenda, and that they will work to foster that agenda. Stay with the enduring living agenda available to the court which survives changing administrations, and you will do well to uphold the integrity of the court and trust in it.

    As final arbiter and custodian of the Constitution, some completely ignore the role played by the other branches. While the Judiciary is considered as custodian, both the Executive and Legislative branches are considered as protectors of the Constitution. The President affirms his duty to protect the Constitution. So does legislators. The Legislature, as the people’s representatives, also check on compliance with the Constitution by all public officials, including its own members, the executive, and the judiciary.

  2. Judge Yussif Kaba of Criminal Court C, YOU must be another corrupt and incompetent judge or lawyer!!!MY GOD!!! Mr. Kaba, considering the context in which you are making such sickening utterances, we must tell you up-front that YOU SHOULD INSTEAD OF SPEWING SUCH RUBBISH AS ‘Executive, Legislative Should Not Interfere with Judiciary Functions’, YOU SHOULD BE WARNING THE JUDICIARY NOT TO INTERFERE WITH IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS WITHIN THE LEGISLATURE!

    For impeachment proceedings, by virtue of the political question doctrines, are neither a case, a dispute, nor a controversy – proceedings which are the absolute and singular duties of the Judiciary.

    RATHER, MR. INCOMPETENT AND TRIBALIST OR RELIGIOUS BIGOT YUSUF KABA, IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS ARE A CALLING INTO QUESTION THE INTEGRITY OF A GIVEN JUDGE OR PUBLIC OFFICIAL-; WORKINGS OF THE LEGISLATURE WHICH ARE THE SOLE, ABSOLUTE, AND SINGULAR, CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE LEGISLATURE – CONSTITUTIONAL FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGISLATURE absolutely beyond the province and jurisdiction of the Judiciary in general, and the Supreme Court in particular!!!! Kaba, your rubbish is simply driven by corruption, tribalism, religious bigotry, or chronic ignorance!!!

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