The Legal Arm of the Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), as well as several stakeholders from the security sector, has concluded a one-day working session on the draft Court Martial Regulation for the new AFL.
The one-day stakeholders’ workshop, which was held on Thursday, December 10, 2020 at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) in Monrovia, was graced by the Independent National Human Rights Commission (INHRC), the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), the U.S. Embassy and other major stakeholders in the security sector.
The purpose of the day-long workshop was to brainstorm and produce a workable Court Martial Regulation for President George M. Weah to approve.
Speaking at the official opening of the event, the Legal Affairs Director at the Ministry of National Defense (MOD), Attorney Emmanuel B. Yates, said that the AFL Judge Advocate General (JAG) Department is the legal arm of the new AFL, which was established in 2010 and which is comprised of (17) paralegals, (4) officers and (13) enlisted with the sole responsibility of performing the task of legal officers at various command within the Armed Forces of Liberia.
According to Director Yates, with the presence of trained lawyers and Magistrates, the department can now operate at a full-scale following the approval of the Court Martial Regulation by the President of Liberia.
T. Olandrus Dickson, Deputy Minister of Defense for Administration, in remarks said that the formulation of a Court Martial Regulation of the AFL is a milestone for AFL and the Ministry.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, extolled the partners for their inputs in the formation of the UCMJ. The Uniform Code of Military Justice is the foundation of military law in the Army.
Major General Johnson told the participants that the stakeholders will be involved in all the proceedings leading to the establishment of the Court Martial Board.
He appealed to the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), the Independent National Human Rights Commissions (INHRC), the Law Reform Commission, Governance Commission including partners for their inputs in making the draft Court Martial document a success.
The Chief of Staff Also recognized the U.S. Government, International partners, the government of Liberia, and other bodies who supported to the process and the nation at large.