The Justice System in Liberia is said to be making some strides to help revamp it as national government along with others stakeholders are embarking on series of campaigns to help improve the sector.
As part of efforts to help make the sector more efficient and effective, the Liberia National Law Enforcement Association (LINLEA) as part of its annual activities held a one-day interactive forum under the banner: The Wilfred E. Clarke Forum on Social Justice and the Rule of Law.
The forum which brought together security personnel from cross section of the sector including key actors was held under the theme: Issues and Challenges in Successfully investigating, Apprehending and prosecuting suspects within the Liberian Criminal Justice System.
The well participated forum due to the practical nature of the theme in the sector flag out series of challenges as well as recommendations to help improve the sector.
Participants including the panel of discussants called for the need to empowered and train security personnel at all levels and at all times.
Moreover, they also highlighted the importance of providing logistical and technical support to enhance the effective of their work.
Additionally, the actors in the sector want a cordial working relationship with those involved in the sector as well as proper consultation of the law relative to the sticky issue of arrest among others.
The gathering went on to see Public education and awareness to be further heightens in order to enlighten the public about the role, function and in general how the justice system works in order to help reduce the misconception about the sector.
Presenting separate papers on the theme the Commissioner of Police for Chief Investigation Division and Interpol affairs Charles Blake among other things called for the upgrading of the status of the Liberia National Police Training Academy to ensure it meets international competence as well as present day policing.
At the same time the Assistant Minister for Litigation at the Ministry of Justice Wesseh A. Wesseh bragged that they have made some strides in helping to improve the sector, “we have won more cases”, he added.
He said lawyers are up to the task, well trained and educated unlike in the past and was quick to mention that the issue about the judicial or court system is not about winning cases but to ensure that each and every person is serve justice in a transparent manner and form.
He challenged public defenders to provide the lists of those who have over stayed in court to ensure the legal process takes it course.
On the other hand, the acting head of the Independent National Commissioner on Human Rights Bartholomew Colley re-echoed the need to help decongest the prison compound across Liberia.
According to him it is a complete violation on the rights of people who have over- stayed in prison without a single trial something he noted needs to be addressed now.
Meanwhile the Director of Judicial Public Information Darryl Ambrose Nmah frowned at the continuous political intimidation of the court which is normally done by politicians.
He said such practice is unacceptable and directly affects the successful adjudication of cases in Liberia.
Mr. Nmah said negative perception, lack of public awareness and education are all attributing factors to the lack of interest in some cases and in the sector as a whole something he pointed out they are working on to address.
The forum according to the President of the LINLEA Cecil Griffiths was meant to among others things look at some of the sticky and challenging issues confronting the effective operation of police officers with key focus among others on arrest and was organized by LINLEA and sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy, NED.
Meanwhile about 80 security personnel from the Liberia National Police, Personnel of the Armed Forces Of Liberia , LINLEA, Liberia Immigration Service, National Fire Service, Monrovia City Police and the Sea Port Police, Officers of the Foreign Ministry and the Liberia Drug Enforcement Agency walked away with deserving certificates after completing trainings in specialized areas including: Criminal Justice System and Processes Course, Criminal Investigation and Evidence Course and Writing and Evaluating criminal justice reports among others.
They were admonished by Mr. Griffiths to practicalized what they have learn for the betterment of the sector.