16 May 2018

Liberia: Supreme Court Restores Suspended Justice Micah Wilkins Wright's License

Monrovia — After being suspended for over a year by the Supreme Court of Liberia from the practice of law, the Court has finally restored the law license of Cllr. Micah Wilkins Wright.

Wright was suspended in 2017 by the Supreme Court of Liberia for allegedly committing "conflict of interest in 2009 while he served as Liberia's Solicitor General.

Cllr. Wright was at the time Liberia's representative at the ECOWAS Court when he was suspended. Upon his suspension in his native Liberia, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wrote ECOWAS requesting the recall and replacement of Justice Wright.

The restoration of his license followed a petition to the Supreme Court, stating that he has complied with the terms and obeyed the mandate of the court by serving the suspension for the complete period ordered, which expired February 17, 2018.

"Petitioner now comes respectfully praying your honors to kindly restore petitioner to eligibility to practice law and thereby reinstate the petitioner's license as a full fledge practicing lawyer within Liberia with all rights, entitlement, and privileges," the petitioner states.

A month after his suspension, Wright filed an action of a violation of human rights in the Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against Liberia.

The action was later withdrawn on January 29, 2018, to discontinue something that the court challenged to show evidence that he wasn't in active practice while serving a suspension.

"I write herewith to forward to you, the court ECW/CCJ/ORD/01/18 dated January 31, 2018, in respect of the notice of discontinuance filed by the plaintiff in the above-mentioned suit."

His petition said he has observed and complied with terms and condition laid down in the high court's judgment by refraining and engaging in the practice of law directly or indirectly.

The judgment of the court adjudged that Wright ceased to sit as a judge on the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in March 2017. This meant that he ceased to practice law in obedience to the court's opinion and mandate suspending him from the practice of law for the period of one year.

"The petitioner didn't sign his complaint filed with the ECOWAS Court against Liberia following his suspension, which also shows that he did not engage in the practice of law even as a lawyer representing himself, further no evidence or information was brought to the attention of this court that the petitioner had practiced law in any other form during the period of his suspension," the judgment said.

"Wherefore, the period for which the petitioner M. Wilkins Wright was suspended from the practice of law, having expired on February 17, 2018, this court hereby lifts the suspension imposed on him. His status as counselor-at-law of the Supreme Court Bar and as a legal practitioner in all courts of Republic is restored."

The court furthered that Wright's license to practice as a lawyer is hereby reinstated to enable him to pursue his professional career with all rights and privileges appertaining thereto.

The high court mandated the Clerk of Court, Atty. Sam Mamulu, to inform all courts in Liberia on the opinions and judgment.

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