Assuring government’s support to the newly dedicated law firm of Cllr. Benedict Sannoh yesterday in Monrovia, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, told the former minister of justice and attorney general to lead a campaign to restore credibility to the legal profession in the country.
“I’m convinced that you will do well,” Vice President Boakai told him, at a large gathering at the law firm’s offices on Benson and MacDonald Streets, “and what we are facing is how to discourage mob violence in the country.”
He said there are numerous challenges facing the legal profession and the government is aware of them being not only in Monrovia, but throughout the country, and urged Cllr. Sannoh, Managing Director of the Sannoh and Partners Law Firm, to develop programs to ensure respect for the profession.
“I am confident of your success,” Veep Boakai said, “and we want you and your group to bring more credit to the legal profession.”
In his statement, Cllr. Sannoh said he has faith in Liberia and its people and their support to good leadership. “I share the views expressed by the late Mamade Diakite that Liberia is rising with the potential to reach higher heights,” quoting the late President William R. Tolbert “and to create an enabling environment where Liberians can live in peace.”
Cllr. Sannoh said the law is the foundation for Liberia to attain his belief in the resilience of Liberians and it is the duty of lawyers with the responsibility to make it happen, which is the objective of the foundation of the new law firm.
He noted that Liberia has made significant progress in consolidating peace and economic development since the end of the civil-conflict under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, with support from international partners.
“However, we have not fully addressed the root causes of what led the country to war and therefore the consequences of the years of violence, which if not attended to, may have the potential to derail the gains we have made so far,” Cllr. Sannoh said.
Critical in this regard, he said, is providing “justice, security and the rule of law.” He said confidence in that sector is extremely low and it is incumbent on all “of us to embark on programs to nurture confidence in the sector, for if the people lose confidence in the system that is meant to protect them, they will ultimately resort to other avenues to protect their defensible interests.”
The new law firm, he said will have a major department to focus on justice, security, human rights and the rule of law. The firm will also engage in general practice with focus on corporate law, commercial law, contracts, taxation, and government relations, among others.
Others at the dedication yesterday who gave their support included Justice Minister Frederick Cherue; the dean of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, Cllr. J. Negbalee Warner; as well as representatives from the Liberia National Bar Association, the judiciary, the clergy and the United Nations Mission in Liberia.