‘Liberia’s Justice System Faces Human Rights Challenges’

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UNMIL Deputy SRSG, Waldemmar Very

-Says UNMIL’s Deputy SRSG

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG) of the United Nations Mission of Liberia (UNMIL), Waldemmar Very, yesterday observed that ineffective accountability for misconduct by officials working within Liberia’s justice system poses serious human rights concern that requires considerable attention.

DSRSG Very also named prolonged pre-trial detention, unhealthy prison conditions, impunity for sexual and gender based violence and harmful traditional practices as some of the other human rights related challenges.

The UN official made this observation when he donated equipment, furniture and human rights materials valued at US$14,883 to support the establishment of a human rights library at the offices of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA).

“Effective human rights protection promotes peace and stability as it provides legal, political and social framework within which conflicts can be peacefully resolved,” the UNMIL DSRSG said. “The Liberia justice system is challenged with perennial human rights concerns.”

He noted that he was confident that with the capacity so far developed, and complemented by resources like the library, Liberians in general and members of the bar in particular are sufficiently capacitated to support the government in undertaking the numerous reforms including those outlined by President George Weah in his annual message to the Legislature.

“There is no doubt that these reforms seek to entrench a human rights culture in Liberia and uphold the rights of all Liberians,” Mr. Very suggested.

According to him, the President’s message seeks to address discriminatory provisions in the constitution and promote national reconciliation and social cohesion with the ultimate objective of building enduring peace for Liberia.

“As members of the bar, your technical expertise will be solicited and required to aid the process of translating the President’s vision into reality,” noted DSRSG Very. “I, therefore, encourage you to make full use of the resources in this library to support the president’s agenda.”

The UNMIL’s deputy DSRSG explained that human rights play a pivotal role in the governance of every modern society as they contribute to ensuring that duty bearers are held accountable.

“Human rights also provide a framework within which social cohesion is forged and the rights of all individuals, no matter their status in society are respected,” DSRSG Very indicated.

According to him, as key players in the protection of the rights of the people, lawyers, judges and other justices and security sector actors must update their knowledge of human rights’ norms and standards that are applicable to the administration of justice in Liberia.

“This library is meant primarily to enhance the human rights knowledge of members of the bar,” DSRSG Very noted.

He indicated that it provides lawyers with resources that enhance their capacity to protect the interest of their clients and contribute to the overall governance of Liberia.

UNMIL’s mandate ends in just eight weeks, and in this regard various interventions are in place to enable the UN system continue to partner with Liberia in its peace building efforts.

“The office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights will commence operations in Liberia. This office will continue to support national institutions like the Independent Commission on Human Rights to continue the work of building a human rights protection mechanism for Liberia,” Vrey said.

Receiving the items, LNBA’s President, Cllr. G. Moses Paegar, lauded the DSRSG for the donation and assured him that his association will do everything possible to ensure that human rights’ issues are seriously addressed by lawyers with the aid of the library.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Very was being euphemistic when he described the Liberian justice system as “facing human rights challenges,” instead of out rightly saying the system was rotten inside out! What relevance for example, could be ascribed to a system wherein certain individuals can call the bluff of the Supreme Court by defying that court’s order to restitute levied amounts, or rescind a previous decision? What integrity could be ascribed to a judicial system for example, wherein the high court fines a citizen as part of the penalty for whatever the infraction, and the individual refuses to honor that obligation in defiance, but as soon as that individual is tipped for a position in that society, s/he quickly settles the long outstanding obligation and to the amazement of all and sundry, the high court gives that individual quick clearance without any reservation? And such judicial system expects acclaim and commendation? I guess only in Liberia!

  2. UNHEALTHY PRISON CONDITIONS…….PLEASE CHECK OUT THE ARMED FORCES OF LIBERIA MILITARY BARRACKS IN CAMP SCHEFFELIN…A HIGH SECURITY RISK FOR LIBERIA.. NOT CONDUCIVE FOR MY DOG

  3. let me tell you. this world is a sinful world also in the usa and in Miami beach fl the human rights conditions here is very wicked the people in America are killers and liars and there is no human rights at all for people like me so I am asking the leaders everywhere in the world to help me with this problems.thanks

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