16 January 2013

Liberia: 90 Percent Magistrates Unfit - Judge Kaba

Civil Law Court Judge Yusif D. Kaba says 90 percent of magistrates throughout Liberia do not meet basic requirements for the job, but are yet admitted to control magisterial courts.

"I can safely say since I don't have the statistics, that 90 percent of the magistrates do not meet the requirements of what it takes to be a judge. It is required to be a law school graduate before becoming a magistrate," said Judge Kaba

He made the comments in Monrovia on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at the Temple of Justice during the admittance of 16 attorneys-at-law, held at the Civil Law Court.

He however told the newly admitted attorneys that they were coming into a field of sacrifice from the law school, challenging them to remain committed and willing to learn in the practice.

"I tell you that you know nothing; you are as green as a green grass. As you enter this new... you are starting a process of learning. This is why the participation in a legal field is called a practice," said Judge Kaba.

He admonished the young lawyers that as they enter into the legal practice, they should not consider themselves as all-knowing on grounds that they hold a degree.

"For all purpose of intent, you know nothing. You are commencing the process of knowing something", Judge Kaba added.

Commenting on behalf of his colleagues, attorney McDonald Garnett, expressed their preparedness to work with senior lawyers to become the quality of lawyers they aspire for.

Attorney Garnett also thanked the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) and the Montserrado County Bar Association for opening up their doors and admitting them into the legal profession.

Garnett however appealed to the judges to recommend to the Supreme Court of Liberia for a maximum period of three months for admission of graduates of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law.

Meanwhile, LNBA President Counsellor Theophilus T.C. Gould, has admonished that lawyers should see themselves as guiding tool for the country, saying "by just wearing the black gowns does not make you a lawyer."

He urged the young lawyers to relax and put into practice what they have learnt in the law school if they must enjoy the legal practice.

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