The Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Law Reform Commission (LRC), and the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the codification (rearrangement) of the laws of Liberia, a release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Some the laws, according to the release, include statutory law, opinions of the Supreme Court, Executive Orders, Administrative Regulations, etc.
The signatories to the MoU agreed to incorporate a not-for-profit corporate entity, the Liberian Law Research, Codification and Publication Center (LLRCPC) under whose direction the three GoL institutions will work towards researching, compiling, editing, indexing, annotating (as necessary), and publishing the various laws of Liberia.
The output of the LLRCPC, according to the MoU, will be subject to final review and approval of the statutory agencies, which have been delegated such responsibility.
The MoU states that in order to “effectively implement the operational efficiency of the MoU, and a conducive work environment, the Parties further agreed that the Center be housed at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, with all of its personnel and facilities being stationed at the Law School, which will also enable easy and fast access to tremendous research and academic facilities.”
According to the MoU, the new undertaking is aimed at building on previous collaboration that resulted in the establishment of the Liberia Legal Information Institute (Liberlii), which had been engaged in publishing online the raw Supreme Court Opinions, and certain of the Acts passed by the Legislature.
“Under the new venture, the laws will not only be available online, but will also be published in hard bound copies, and will be available in both forms locally, as well other nations and centers around the world,” the Parties said in the MoU.
They also acknowledged that the new monumental venture will bring new order to the codification, publication and dissemination of the laws of Liberia.
The parties noted that the effort is not only to make the laws current and available, but also to place Acts passed by the Legislature under the appropriate Titles of the law for ease of access and reference by the courts, the legislature, executive agencies, academicians and researchers.
“In addition, and to have the project commenced without delay, the Parties agreed that the LLRCPC will be incorporated within three weeks of the execution of the MoU, and that the Center will immediately thereafter, commence work,” it is stated in the MoU.
The Parties have announced that they agreed to engage the services of Professor Philip A.Z. Banks, III as the first Executive Director of the Center.
“Lastly, the Parties agree also that upon incorporation of the Center, a training program for designated personnel of the Parties will commence to ensure their efficiency in the art of the tasks which the Center will be undertaken under the direction of the Parties,” the MoU said.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Liberia, Cllr. F. Musa Dean, Jr., the Chairman of the Law Reform Commission, Cllr. Boakai N. Kanneh, and the Dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Cllr. T. Negbalee Warner signed the MoU, which takes immediate effect.