-Civil Law Court Judge Kennedy Peabody
The Resident Judge of Civil Law Courts ‘A and B’ at the Temple of Justice, Kennedy Peabody, has cautioned judicial actors including judges and lawyers to make people see the courts as a place of hope and justice. Speaking last Friday at formal ceremonies marking the official opening of Court, the Judge said in order for people to understand that the court is a place of hope justice, judgment and decisions from there must be nonpolitical and free of bias at all times and must be accepted, understood, and perceived as such.
Reminding his colleagues abut their role as judges, Judge Peabody declared, “our role as stated in our judicial oath and canons is to uphold the law and dispense justice to all persons alike without fear, favor or prejudice.” He told his audience that the interpretations of the law will have the power to grant freedom to accused individuals or sentence them to death by hanging.
According to Judge Peabody, the primary duty of a judge is to interpret the law without bias, affection or ill will. “However,” the civil law court judge said, “the duties of a judge, which include all the duties of his office as prescribed by the law, should demand that we must be courageous, fair, candid, uncompromising and firm in upholding the rule of law even as we strive to attain judicial excellence at all times.” He said a good judge must be a neutral and impartial arbiter who favors no party litigants.
“We believe judges make decisions based on the law. A judge does not decide cases based on personal relation or preferences. We are not pro-plaintiff or pro-defendant judges. We are not pro-prosecution or pro-defense judges,” Judge Peabody told his audience.
He explained that in an independent judiciary, the court is the last place of hope for the defense for the rights and liberties of citizens and residents guaranteed by the constitution.
“Therefore, an independent judiciary is the bedrock of constitutional democracy. The judiciary is the sustainer of peace and democracy in any civilized nation,” the civil law court judge emphasized. Further, according to him, “the judiciary is not and should never be indebted to anyone but the Constitution, adding the court must never be viewed as a partisan institution or an institution for the privileged”.
At the same time, the Judge reminded his colleagues that it is not enough to be concerned with the process of administering justice because those administering justice should be equally concerned with the perception of the citizens and residents of the way and manner they apply the justice. In so doing, Judge Peabody said, this very arm of the government should be the shining example among the institutions of government.
He said, Liberia will never more forward, “if you dislike someone only because he or she is not your choice or candidate. Unity and love build a nation but hate is a curse to a people and a nation,” he concluded.