Posted by: africanpressorganization | 6 August 2010

Liberian Judiciary Strategic Plan finalized, as UN Deputy Envoy promises support for reform initiatives





Liberian Judiciary Strategic Plan finalized, as UN Deputy Envoy promises support for reform initiatives



MONROVIA, Liberia, August 6, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A one-day working session, bringing together representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Judiciary, has approved the Strategic Plan for the Judicial Branch. This Strategic Planning workshop validated decisions reached at a four-day planning meeting held in Accra, Ghana in late October 2008, seeking to assist the Judiciary in its the post-conflict reform efforts to enable it to better play its role in maintaining the peace and stability of Liberia.


Addressing participants at today’s validation workshop at the Temple of Justice, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for the Rule of Law, Ms. Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu challenged them to demonstrate courage, leaving behind the ‘old ways’ if they have ceased to serve them well. In charting the way forward, “rules, processes and procedures that seemed to be the very essence of the judicial system may have to give way to new ones that serve the ends of justice more, in these fast-paced days when delay can be costly in material and even human terms,” she said. This, the DSRSG pointed out, will demonstrate a determination to lead the Judiciary in a “transparent and accountable” manner.


On the Strategic Planning process, Ms. Mensa-Bonsu commended the participants’ desire to bring development to the people of Liberia. Looking at the link between justice, peace and development, the UN Deputy Envoy emphasized that: “the absence of a strong, independent judiciary which is confident enough to apply the law without discrimination, and hold state authorities, as well as individuals, accountable for crimes and abuses of power, threatens the success of all other aspects of post-conflict reconstruction and reform.” She added that the Strategic Plan will move everyone forward to the stated vision of “an independent and credible Judiciary, delivering transparent justice, and protecting the rights and dignity of all.”


DSRSG Mensa-Bonsu assured the Judiciary of the UN family’s ongoing commitment and support for reform initiatives. She noted that the validated plan will identify priorities and will allow both the UN family and the international donor community to target assistance and further improve its collaboration and the effectiveness of its support and urged them to stick to it in accepting projects from well-meaning partners. The UN Deputy Envoy cautioned against the inclusion of fancy projects that do not fall within identified priorities or that are not sustainable. Such fancy projects will only end up becoming “white elephants,” she said, adding, “…which would impose even greater burdens on you, even as you struggle for your daily needs.”


The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, His Honour Johnnie N. Lewis who led the group to formally validate and adopt the Plan, and to initiate discussions on the draft Implementation Plans, thanked participants for attending the workshop and expressed optimism that the successful conclusion of this planning process would enable the Judiciary to move forward with well-crafted Implementation Plans. Associate Justices Francis Korkpor, Gladys Johnson, Kabineh Ja’neh and Jamesetta Howard-Wolokollie, also addressed the participants and chaired working group sessions.


Thematic areas included in the Judiciary Strategic Plan are: Human Resource Management – building capabilities and skills of personnel within the Judiciary, recruitment and maintenance of qualified manpower, creation of a positive work environment, and development of systems and processes to promote efficiency and diligence; Infrastructure – nationwide construction and refurbishment of court buildings; Financial Management – development of an effective management system – including decentralization and revenue generation; Judicial Independence – establishing a mindset of judicial independence and developing a credible system of financial accounting; and Case Management – developing an effective information management system and processes. This validation workshop received technical and financial support from the UN Mission in Liberia and the UNDP Liberia Office.



Mission of UN in Liberia


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