COURT PRESIDENT URGES LIBERIANS TO AVAIL THEMSELVES OF ITS SERVICES
Only fourteen cases have been received from Liberia since the establishment of the Community Court of Justice, the President of the Court, Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante has said.
Four of the cases have been dispensed with by the Court, nine are pending while the remaining one was withdrawn.
The Court became operational in 2001 with the swearing in of its first set of seven judges in Bamako, Mali.
Speaking at the opening of the sensitization component of the Court’s outreach campaign in Monrovia, the President said that the low number of cases from the Country is ‘evidence of the huge opportunities that exist for Liberians to avail themselves of the services of the Court in addressing the abuses of their human rights, one of the four mandates of the Court.’
Moreover, with the limited patronage of the Court relative to its potential, the President said the Court recognised the need to deepen its dialogue with the citizens for the effective discharge of its mandate.
“ This can only be possible through campaigns such as this which enable the Court to acquaint citizens of the mandate, jurisdiction and practice and as well as procedures for accessing the Court, “ the President said of the weeklong campaign which also has an outreach component and engagement with lawyers, students and judges.
The President said the integration this year of an outreach component into the Court’s existing arsenal of visibility platforms is ‘intended to deepen engagement with the stakeholders and reinforce citizen ownership as part of its mechanism for enabling it to account for its judicial mandate to the citizens.’
He challenged Liberians to avail themselves of the opportunity of the campaign to engage with key officials of the Court in attendance to ensure an improved appreciation of its mandate, jurisdiction, access and practice so that they can take advantage of its mandate to remedy the violation of their human rights.
“Hopefully, the presentations to be made at the technical session and the consequent dialogue to be engendered will help stimulate greater public understanding of the Court and ultimately translate into improved recourse to the Court by Liberians, ‘ the President added.
In addition, the President said the technical session has been structured in a way that it responds to the peculiarities of the various strata of its stakeholders such as lawyers, students, journalists, women groups, academics and law enforcement officials.
The Court’s delegation to the outreach is led by its President, Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante and includes other judges of the Court and staff.