30 November 2017

Liberia: Unmil Official Cautions Bar Association

The Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Political Affairs and Rule of law of UNMIL has admonished stakeholders of the Liberia National Bar Association to enhance the practice of law and access to justice to improve judicial system in Liberia.

Speaking at the Bar Convention in Gbarnga, Mr. Waldemmar Vrey explained that access to justice will build confidence in the justice system in Liberia.

He believes that access to justice will reduce the number of pretrial detainees and further contribute to enhancing the practice of law in Liberia.

This, he said, will have a positive impact on their collective quest to achieve access to justice for all citizens in the country.

Mr. Vrey said the number of pretrial detention figure continues to be high in the country, because they do not have access to legal counsel, or bail; something he believes, is a constitutional right, and should not be a privilege for the citizens.

The UNMIL DSRSG narrated that in many instances, the customary justice system and its processes fall below accepted human right standards, and the need to acknowledge that it remains an essential component of local dispute resolution that could alleviate undue pressure.

He said although there will be many challenges for the efficient delivery of justice, but there is also the need for a second look at the performance of the reforms implemented policy to smoothly enhance the system.

He added that if there are reformed areas not performing to expectation, one should assess whether there are maybe different ways of going about those particular reforms within the justice system.

The UNMIL DSRSG wants lawyers to always remember their oath as lawyers and the contents of the Code of Moral and Professional Ethics for lawyers.

He said maintaining the highest level of professional ethics, and patriotisms amongst lawyers are factors that will enhance the practice of law.

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