Chief Justice Youh Threatens to Cut Judges, Magistrates’ Salary for ‘Abandoning’ Court

MONROVIA – Chief Justice Sie-Nyene Yuoh has vowed to cut the salaries of Magistrates and Circuit Judges who are always boycotting court’s activities.

According to Chief Justice Yuoh, there are Judges especially Magistrates who are in the constant habit of staying away from their various courts.

Speaking at the opening of the Civil law courts, the boss of the Judiciary used the occasion to warn Circuit Court judges who are in the constant habit of boycotting court opening to desist.

“This bad practice of absenteeism will not continue under my watch, and before my two years expire, every judicial actor will be on the same path like me,” she noted.

She stressed that most often, it is judges from southeastern Liberia who are in the constant habit of instructing their respective clerks to do the court opening why they sit in Monrovia with no justifiable reasons.

She made the statement during the formal opening of the Sixth Judicial Civil law Annex A and B opening.

Mentioning the Judicial order #9 and section 3.9 of the new Judicial law, the chief Justice said it gives her the exclusive rights to assign Judges of specialized courts.

The New Judiciary Law requires that all courts be opened for the conduct of business at all times with a judge or magistrate available and presiding over proceedings;

Accordingly, Article 75 of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia grants the Supreme Court the power to prescribe rules necessary for the facilitation and proper discharge of the functions of the courts in the Republic of Liberia;

The Rules of Courts mandate that judges and magistrates assigned to courts be in prompt attendance at all times in said courts, unless prevented by sickness or such inability over which they have no control, and in such case, they shall give timely notice to the Chief Justice.

“We find out that most of our resident Circuit Court Judges apparently, through some maneuver ways got appointed, but most often they are in Monrovia because they are residents of Monrovia instead of their respective counties,” Chief Justice Yuoh revealed.

She indicated that they have had numerous cases where those resident Circuit Court judges sit in Monrovia and appoint their respective clerks of court, particularly southeastern Liberia to open court and this is not an ordinary court, but the Circuit Court of the Republic of Liberia.

“This will not happen again under this Judicial order #9,” the chief Justice noted.

“It is so disheartening to note that resident Circuit Court judges are so afraid of their own people where a lot of traditional exercises are going on in the Circuit Court where Judges are using Holy oil and water in the resident Circuit Court.

“Imagine Judges who are resident judges don’t even have a house in their respective counties where they are resident judges which is very disheartening.”

Justice Yuoh recalled that during the May term of court opening, three Circuit Court judges ordered their clerks of court to open the Circuit Court, which is contrary to law and those judges were in Monrovia and having no plan to go to their assigned areas.

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