Observes Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi
Cllr. Jonathan Massaquoi, a practicing lawyer at the Supreme Court has observed that President George Weah’s first State of the Nation address on Monday, January 29, did not set any ‘meaningful agenda for the justice system.’
Under Pillar three of his Monday’s address which President Weah titled: “Sustaining the Peace” he noted, “Under this pillar, we shall examine ways to improve the judiciary system to ensure that the basic rights of all Liberians are protected.”
The President did not elaborate.
Against this backdrop, Cllr. Massaquoi said that the President Weah’s remarks, failed to detail how his government is going to improve the judiciary to ensure that the basic rights of all Liberians are protected.
“The President did not mention anything in the address in strengthening the rule of law, because this is a precondition for sustainable peace and development,” Massaquoi added.
For this reason, the lawyer wants President Weah to recognize that the justice system is an essential stepping stone in achieving the rule of law. As such, the address should not have left it unattended and vague.
“The President’s first State of the Nation address missed on the step of the justice system and the third branch of government that is responsible for upholding the rule of law,” according to Massaquoi.
He wants President Weah to recognize that significant weaknesses in governance, justice and security institutions were key factors that caused the crises which have haunted Liberia over the past decades.
The lawyer highlighted rule of law along with security and economic development as key challenges to be addressed in order to solidify the progress made so far.
“President Weah should understand that the importance of the rule of law for consolidating peace, effective and accountable legal and justice institutions, access to justice, and the protection and promotion of human rights are not only essential for sustainable peace-building, but are underpinning many of the country’s development initiatives,” Cllr. Massaquoi declared.