Posted by: africanpressorganization | 6 June 2009

Liberia / Quality of personnel essential for restoring confidence in justice system, says UN Deputy Envoy





Liberia / Quality of personnel essential for restoring confidence in justice system, says UN Deputy Envoy



MONROVIA, Liberia, June 6, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Deputy UN Envoy Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu says the conduct and quality of output of personnel working within the justice system is essential for restoring greater public trust and confidence in the system. Ms. Mensa-Bonsu urged all members of the Judiciary, court officials, the Police, the prosecution and defense lawyers – both public and private, to play their part by performing and upholding their responsibilities with transparency and integrity. The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for the Rule of Law stressed that the justice system will only be as good as they, as individuals, make it. Ms. Mensa-Bonsu made this statement when she handed-over a newly-constructed building to the Government of Liberia for use as a magisterial court. The new court building is located in Unification Town, Margibi County, adjacent to the Roberts International Airport. The court was constructed by funds made available through the Quick Impact Projects program of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), with additional resources from UNDP.


“The United Nations recognizes that a strong justice system is an essential component in the peace building process, the re-establishment of the rule of law and the future sound development of Liberia”, the Deputy UN Envoy said, citing progress being made, both by the Judiciary and the Ministry of Justice, in addressing weaknesses in the system. The DSRSG explained that “this is why the UN remains committed to assisting the Government of Liberia in the construction of magisterial courts and other rule of law infrastructure”. She emphasized that the improvement of infrastructure is another essential component in the reform and strengthening of the justice system in Liberia: “Even though the delivery of justice is not about physical structures, confidence in the quality of justice to be obtained by a prospective user of the service may be affected adversely by the absence of decent court structures”.


It is against this background that UNMIL prioritized the Rule of Law sector for use of its Quick Impact Project funds, Ms. Mensa-Bonsu said. To this end, UNMIL has collaborated with the Government to construct courthouses, as well as police stations and depots for the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN). She revealed that currently, more than 20 facilities in the Rule of Law sector are in various stages of construction.


Margibi County Superintendent, Mr. Levi Piah warmly thanked UNMIL and the UNDP for building the Unification Town Magisterial Court. He described the realization of this project as a clear manifestation of the implementation of the County Development Agenda in the County under the Governance and Rule of Law Pillar of the Poverty Reduction Strategy. Superintendent Piah praised the level of development activities taking place in Margibi.


Attending the hand-over ceremony were two members of the House of Representatives of Margibi County – Messrs Saah Gbollie and Ballah Zayzay; County Attorney, Counsellor-At-Law Frank Oberly; Liberia National Police Commander of the Roberts International Airport Detachment, Chief Superintendent Susannah Blackie; Unification Town Stipendiary Magistrate Francis Sunvemah; Township Commissioner Emmanuel Fatormah; traditional leaders; a representative of Firestone Plantation Company, who provided assistance in landscaping the area around the new building, and other UNMIL officials.



Mission of UN in Liberia


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