The Government of Liberia on Monday afternoon dedicated the complex that hosts the 15th Judicial Circuit Court, Gbarpolu County. The complex houses several courts including the Circuit Court, the Debt Court, the Revenue Court, the Traffic Court, the Bopolu City Magisterial Court, rooms for both the grand jury and the petty jury; offices for the County Attorney, the Public Defender, the Sheriff, and a temporary detention cell.
Cutting the ribbon marking the dedication of the court complex, the President of the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said that the complex represented the presence of the rule of law in the county. The President also asserted that the Judiciary has taken a step ahead of other branches of Government to manifest the presence of National overnment in Gbarpolu County.
Speaking on behalf of the Supreme Court of Liberia, the Chief Justice, His Honour, Francis S. Korkpor thanked the President who, according to him instructed the General Service Agency to construct the fence which is now around the court complex building. The Chief Justice also thanked the people of Gbarpolu County for giving four acres of land to the Judiciary for the construction of the court complex. However, Chief Justice Korkpor noted that the court complex construction did not use up the full four acres and therefore warned people against encroachment.
Speaking further, the Chief Justice said that the new complex will afford the judges and support staff to “work in an improved and conducive environment, adding also that beyond the “elegant edifice”, access to justice and easy coordination amongst justice and judicial actors for the speedy dispensation of cases were the most important dividends of the court complex, noting that what should be the true reason for the celebration is the presence of the rule of law.
The Chief Justice concluded his remarks by stating that while the structure is good for access to judicial purpose, it alone does not guarantee that justice will be dispensed, that the mindset and attitude of the “people who work within the structure must change to ensure that justice is truly dispensed”. Quoting former Chief Justice James A. A. Pierre, Chief Justice Korkpor cautioned all judicial employees that “if our proclivities of yester years in yonder surroundings, now left behind us, do not comport with the magnificence and the grandeur and beauty of these new surroundings, then we must resolve anew today to act and behave only in accordance with this great stride which has been made in the judiciary by this physical advance”; and that judicial actors should leave behind whatever old, ugly ways of doing things and “adapt new and acceptable attitudes that will bring credit and dignity to the Judiciary.