The Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) has been urged to improve transparency, security and expeditious adjudication of legal matters.
Nigerian Ambassador accredited to Liberia, James G. Dimka, who gave the admonition recently at the LNBA annual Convention in Nimba County, described the legal profession is one that brings with it a high level of respect with a simultaneous call for a higher level of integrity.
“In an increasingly diverse ecosystem, lawyers are indeed expected to join efforts to ensure their countries fulfill maximum potentials,” he said.
Amb. Dimka said that economic progress can only be achieved in an atmosphere of rule of law where justice is guaranteed.
“I must therefore use this occasion to express my hope that, under the auspices of this convention, the LNBA would articulate concrete interventions to complement the government’s drive towards improved transparency, security and expeditious adjudication of legal matters,” he said.
In his deliberation, the ambassador reflected on “what would life without law look like; has the introduction of laws truly regulated human behaviors in modern societies; now that we have working laws, how do we keep them effective and using these effective laws; how do we sustain peace in a rapidly changing and globalized world?”
Under the topic, “Keeping laws effective,” he noticed that in many African countries, we often hear people criticize governments for flouting laws and engaging in actions that can upturn existing peace, then communicate their intentions, actions and challenges to their citizens and other stakeholders.
“Similarly,” he said, “as citizens are to be encouraged to personalize adherence to laws through collective responsibility, governments should also do the same – citizens should be treated the way government officials would want to be treated at the expiration of their tenure.”
“This, I believe, would spur African governments to be more tolerant of dissenting views and perhaps thrust it to the forefront of a committee of developed nations that instinctively uphold human rights, with attendant social-economic benefits for the African continent,” he added,
Amb. Dimka also commended President George Weah for having the political will to implement the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which predates his coming to power.
He said the forwarding of the bill for the establishment of Economic and War Crimes Court to the 54th legislature for consideration and possible enactment is worthy of commendation.
Chief Justice Francis Korkpor, in his message urged citizens to avoid violence and taking the law into their own hands, as well as the use of extra-judicial means of settling disputes.
The LNBA on Friday, November 29 to Sunday, December 1, 2019 held its national convention in the provincial city of Sanniquellie, Nimba County under the theme, “Sustaining Peace through Respect for Law and Human Rights.”
The Convention discussed several issues, including trafficking in persons, ECOWAS Court: functions, procedure and access, review of the complaint mechanism against lawyers, web-based research – accessing Liberian Law at the Liberian information Institute, and the draft act for the establishment of war and economic crimes court in Liberia, prospects and challenges.