— Human Rights lawyer Woods describes GoL’s rejection of ECOWAS Court ruling
Days after the Liberian government resisted the ruling by the ECOWAS Court of Justice instruting the government to reinstate impeached Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Cllr. Kabineh Ja’neh, a Liberia Human Rights lawyer, Attorney Samuel Kafi Woods, wants the government to respect the regional court decision.
The Regional Court also authorized the government to pay Justice Ja’neh US$200,000 along with retirement benefits as provided for by the Liberian Constitution for retired judges which could sum up Ja’neh benefits to a million United States dollars.
Atty. Woods, who is a conusultant for the Liberia Law Society law firm said, Liberia is a signatory to the framework that created the ECOWAS Court and several other international instruments, and it is now duty bound to comply fully with the ruling of that court.
“Any decision or posture to disregard the ruling of the regional court can only serve to further convince all that the country itself in the unenviable darkness of lawlenesess, ” Atty Woods said in a release.
“It is bliss of ignorance not to acknowledge that on trial in the regional court was the government’s commitment to the rule of law, good governance and its dedication to respecting human rights.”
Woods believes that by ruling in favor of Justice Ja’neh, the regional court actually found the government to be wanting in its commitment to the rule of law, the principles of good governance and to the protection of the basic human rights of not only a Liberian cituzen but also a High Court Judge who should be immune from the threats of political recrimination for judicial decision.
“Such immunity provides judicial officials’ assurance for much needed judicial independence and coverage in the award of fair and impartial decision,” the release said.
Woods explained that the ECOWAS Court will not ordinarily speak on such direct time, “They ought not to be expected to, but Liberians and especially our leaders are wise to wake up to what was not respectively said by the court so as to fully understand and look to correct what was siliently expressed about.”
Atty. Woods also wondered, “How can the leaders of the country be investing time, resources and the capacities of the leadership admitted political maneuvers? How can the government be involved in the denial of the basic rights of citizens as well as risk undermining the integrity of the country’s justice system?” He said the government undermines the justice system by exposing its own judges to political recrimination for the judicial action and as determined by the related international conventions on fundamental human rights.