NAYMOTE Partners For Democratic Development has intensified its role in the School Law and Justice Program for students in Liberia, NAYMOTE Program director Aaron Weah-Weah disclosed. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer, he said as part of NAYMOTE’s Rule of Law Program design, it is important to beef up its role to educate young people in high schools and Universities about the rule of law and access to justice.
He stated that the program was basically developed during a regional lessons learned session held with young people across five counties on the implementation of a peace building project, called “YES to PEACE, NO to Violence.”
He emphasized that following the departure of UNMIL from the country on March 30th, there are high expectations from many Liberians most of whom are youths. Key among these expectations for government to meet include job creation and general improvement of lives, as well as to deliver on campaign promises, he said.
“Many young people still have the lack of trust in the justice system,” said Weah-Weah, “they have limited understanding about the due process of law how does the court system work.”
According to him, despite the gains made when Liberia witnessed a peaceful election and the transfer of political authority from one democratically elected president to another, there are still serious challenges with what he called a weak justice system, due to high level of youth unemployment, land conflict, drugs and crimes among young people.
Weah-Weah said the school Law and Justice Program is a program that aims to help promote peace and democracy by providing an enabling environment wherein high school and University students can acquire the legal and civic education, skills and confidence to bring about positive change for themselves, their communities, schools and the society at large.
He indicated that the program will also benefit students from other initiatives and engagements which he said may include seminars, lectures, and mock court trails to support Liberia’s justice system.
He however said the the program is been initiated by NAYMOTE in three Counties, Nimba, Bong and Montserrado, adding that currently due to the lack of funding the organization is initially targeting these three counties. “As we seek funding from other partners, it is out hope to get to other counties with our program,” he noted.
Meanwhile the program is expected to bring on board experienced Police officers and professional Liberian Lawyers to the classroom to teach students practical law, crime prevention, conflict resolution due process and how to access justice.
It will also give students the ability to learn about the working of the Supreme Court, Circuit Court, and the Magisterial Courts as well as how decisions are made in these courts.
“This will over time enhance students’ capacities to become active and legally knowledgeable contributors in the society.” He noted.
The School Law and Justice Program’s overall goal is to improve student’s understanding of the legal processes access to justice, conflict resolution and build trust between the young people and enforcement agencies.