President George Manneh Weah has announced the submission of Bills to amend certain restrictive judiciary laws, that he said his government has realized that there are processes which, not only require the actions of the Legislative branch but also the cooperation agreement with the judiciary branch, mainly the Supreme Court of Liberia.
In an effort to upgrade the national anti- corruption framework, President Weah announced that broad consultations are ongoing with stakeholders such as the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, the General Auditing Commission, Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary branch of government.
Deliverirng his 4th Legislative Agenda to the Legislature in the Joint Chamber of the Capitol Building yesterday, President Weah announced that to adequately address corruption cases, laws providing for the terms of court were being amended to allow for extended terms and for the grand jury to be seated for the full term of court.
President Weah also announced that he will be submitting the Domestic Violence Bill and other laws to provide and enhance protections for victims of sexual and gender based violence. “Additionally, the Bill will be submitted to you to empower young people in an effort to improve their skills through TVET programs; I will also forward for your urgent attention and subsequent ratification the African Continental Fee Trade agreement, which was signed in Kigali, Rwanda in March, 2018; this agreement is a milestone achievement for Africa in terms of the promotion of trade among citizens of the African Union,” President Weah told the 54th Legislature.
The President applauded members of the 54th Legislature for the collaboration enjoyed during the 3rd Session which culminated in the passage of 26 pieces of legislations, 25 of which were signed by him in support of the pro- poor agenda for prosperity and development. “Thank you also for your ratification of several financing agreements which are to revitalize our economy and create jobs for our people, while at the same time strengthen our relations with our multilateral partners.
President recalled the issuance of six executive orders to address national concerns during the period under review.The President reminded the Legislators of Bills pending before them that are important to the developmental agenda of the government. “As you begin the 54th Session of the Legislature, we ask you to kindly consider their timely passage; the Whistle Blowers and Witness Protection Bill; the Anti-Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing Preventive measures and proceeds of Crime Act, 2019; the Revised Public Health Law of Liberia; the Conventions of Mutual Administrave Assistance in Tax matters; an Act to Establish the Liberia Standard Authority; an Act to Establish the Civil Service Commission; the Revised and Restated Charter of the University of Liberia; the International Trader Alliance Framework Agreement; the Maritime Zones Act 2020; and an Act to endorse the National Youth Policy of Liberia, an Agenda for Action,” President Weah said.
Most of the Bills and Acts mentioned by President Weah, are already in committee rooms of both the House of Representatives and Senate.In his government’s strive and commitment to continue to improve governance and determination to fight against corruption, the President stated that in September of 2020, integrity institutions convened an anti-corruption conference which deliberated and presented a clear anti-corruption roadmap. The roadmap, according to President Weah, “Rrecommends that the Government amends the Act of 2008 creating the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, to give the LACC top-rate prosecutorial powers and the mandate to administer the Asset Declaration regime across the three branches of Government.
With this amendment, the LACC will no longer need to await the Ministry of Justice to take cases under investigation to court. The amendment relating to the asset declaration regime would also give LACC the authority to ensure compliance.” “Further, he said the roadmap recommends amending the Judiciary Law to create a dedicated Corruption and Related Financial Offences Court, to be known as CRIMINAL COURT “F,” stressing the importance of passing both the Whistleblowers and Witness Protection Acts.
“Mr. Speaker, these are the key recommendations that came out of the stakeholder consultations on the fight against corruption. I appeal to the Honorable National Legislature to endorse these recommendations and act swiftly. These actions and legislation will advance the institutional fight against corruption to which our administration remains fully committed,” the President emphasized.