The New Dawn (Monrovia)

Liberia: Judiciary Wants 10 Percent Budgetary Allotment

With some five months ahead of the expiry of Liberia's 2012/2013 lucrative $600m budget year, the Judiciary Branch of Government is seeking not less than 10 percent of the national budget in order for the country to build a kind of confidence that it desires in its national existence.

About four months after Acting Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor decried the less than 2 percent of the national budget allotted the judiciary amidst numerous constraints cited, Civil Law Court Judge Yussif D. Kaba has argued that allotting not less than 10 percent of the national cake to the judiciary "will in one way or the other be a demonstration of our true commitment to ensuring that justice is upheld in our country."

Speaking at the Civil Law Court on Tuesday at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia when 16 attorneys -at- law were admitted into the Montserrado County Bar, Judge Kabba said there is still a lot wanting by the courts, compounded by the lack of basic tools to operate.

"While we acknowledge that some improvement is being made in the infrastructural situation of the court ... we believe that there is a need for much to be done," said Judge Kabba.

But in a rather rhetorical tone, he questioned: "But is this reflected in our national policy toward the justice system? The last budget that was just passed by our national government, gave to the judicial system 2% of the national cake."

He said considering the needs of the justice system and the role it plays in not only ensuring the economic productivity of Liberia but also the peace and security of the nation, he thinks that national policymakers should do much.

"Because to employ a magistrate, that is a law school graduate to go to Grand Kru County in a village there to serve his people will certainly need resources. While we believe that lawyers must sacrifice, but I'm sure that sacrifice does not mean that the lawyer must not have a decent building for his family," Judge Kaba said. He then challenged national policymakers and strategists to relook at the justice system.

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