Resolution Of The Liberian National Bar Association Adopted At Its First Quarterly Assembly 2014,Held At The City Hall, Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, Republic Of Liberia Under The Theme: ‘Adhernece To The Rule Of Law’
SATURDAY, MARCH 1st,2014
WHEREAS, the Constitution and By-Laws of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) establishes the Quarterly Assemblies as the supreme authority of the Association; and
WHEREAS, the aforesaid Constitution and By-Laws mandates the LNBA to assemble thrice a year for Quarterly Assemblies and once a year at an Annual National Convention for the purpose of formulating and adopting general policies of the Association and acting upon reports submitted by its leadership; and
WHEREAS, at the conclusion of its Annual Convention held in Sanniquelle Nimba, Republic of Liberia, from Thursday, 28TH November through Saturday, December 1st, A.D. 2013, the LNBA, by Resolution duly passed and adopted, named and designated the City of Zwedru , Grand Gedeh County, as the venue for its First Annual Quarterly Assembly 2014, consistent with the Bar’s policy to rotate the Quarterly Assemblies and Annual Convention as a means of establishing the LNBA’s presence in every political subdivision of Liberia and using each of such forum as a principal conduit for creating awareness about, and promoting respect for adherence to the Rule of Law; and
WHEREAS, the LNBA in an effort to educate and inform every person residing in the Republic of Liberia about how the legal system works so that each and everyone may have a fair appreciation of the legal process or court procedure, the LNBA has launched a program code named “ An Hour with the Bar” aired on the UNMIL Radio; and
WHEREAS, during the period under review the LNBA made representations to several fora including the House of Representatives for discussions on the Code of Conduct headed by the Vice President, who although in different capacities projected the view of the LNBA; Counselors Moses Paegar and Eric Morlu, Attorneys Joyce Reeves-Woods, Selma Gibson and Augustine Togbah, all projected the view of the LNBA on the Central Bank; the Constitutional Review Committee to which we have seconded Counsellor Hathlyn Makor; the National Commission on Higher Education, where Counsellor Vima Blama ably represented the LNBA, the Law Reform Commission, where Atty. Charles K. Harris represented the LNBA; Child Steps International, where Attorneys Joyce Reeves-Woods and Attorney Selma Gibson made contributions to the writing of Instructive Materials for grade school, copies are at the LNBA’s headquarters for your reading and comments.
WHEREAS, the President reported that the LNBA was asked to chair the Mediation Investigative Committee on the University of Liberia crisis, where he, the President of the LNBA, Counselor Theophilus C. Gould represented the LNBA and the Committee has now opened the University and submitted a final Report to deal with violations and steps to avoid re-occurrence;
WHEREAS, during the period under review, several members of the Bar were called from labor to rest including: His Honor Judge William B. Metzger, His Honor James J. Zotaa, Jr. Cllr. Nrietta Cox Koenig, former Professor of the law and student-at-law Hoshua Kumeh; and
WHEREAS the LNBA sitting in its 2014 First Quarterly Assembly held at the Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County ; from Thursday February 27th thru Saturday March 1st, 2014, benefitted from the participation of the Supreme Court represented by Associate Justice Sie-A- neh Youh and having deliberated on key law reform issues and Reports;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
1. That a committee be set up for the drafting of the appropriate legislation to provide for appropriate retirement benefits for judges of the courts of Liberia. The Committee is comprised of the following Wilfueh Sayeh, Chairman, Atty. Jonathan F. Yancy, co-chairman, Counselor A. Blamo Dixon, member, Atty. Mardea Martin Wiles, member and Counselor Tiawon Gongloe, Advisor.
2. That the LNBA after a lengthy discussion on the Report submitted by the Special Committee set-up to examine and advise the Executive Council on the challenges and way forward on the amended Jury and Magistrate Expansion laws agreed on the following, that: (a) the Committee remains in force and will work with Counselor Gayah Karmo, who is also a member of the Legislature for the drafting of the appropriate legislation in the premises; (b) the Magistrate Court is and shall remain a Court not of Records despite amendments made for expansion of its jurisdiction and appeals from its judgments, (c) the Jury Law be detached from the Law expanding Magistrate jurisdiction, (d) the number of Jurors in a Trial shall be nine (9) with three (3) alternates, whilst two-thirds (2/3) shall constitute the majority for a verdict, (e) Section 50.9 of the Penal Law amended to allow for changes in fines for convicted individuals shall be: US$500 or its Liberian Dollars equivalent for Misdemeanor of the First degree, US$200 or its Liberian Dollars equivalent for Misdemeanor of the Second degree and US$100 or its Liberian Dollars equivalent for Misdemeanor of the Third degree; and (f) the challenges posed by the Jury Law shall be further examined by the Committee and report be made to Executive Council within one week.
3. That in view of budgetary constraints experienced by the LNBA , the LNBA resolves to increase the yearly Bar due of Counselor –At-Law from US$150 to US$360 and Attorney –At- Law from US$120 to US$180, respectively, and that, this decision is not retroactive for members, who have already paid 2014 dues prior to this decision being taken. The decision takes immediate effect after the adoption of this resolution.
4. That the LNBA after a lengthy discussion on what action to take regarding the amended Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Act, agreed and expanded the Wright’s Committee on the amended Jury Law and Magistrate Jurisdiction to include Atty. Philip Wesseh to review the CBL Act and draft bill to amend the CBL act and report to the Executive Council within period of one (1) week.
5. That the LNBA resolves that the Second Quarterly Assembly for 2014, scheduled for May 2014 in Fish Town, River Gee County to be hosted by the River Gee local bar.
The LNBA, as always, avails itself of the opportunity to extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the following individuals and institutions for their invaluable contributions without which this First Quarterly Assembly for 2014, would not have been a success. Honorable Peter L. Solo, Superintendent, Grand Gedeh County, Honorable Isaac Nyenabo Grand Gedeh Legislative Caucus and the Chiefs and Elders of Grand Gedeh County as well as the President and officers of the Grand Gedeh local Bar for warmly welcoming the LNBA to Grand Gedeh County for the holding of its First Quarterly Assembly and for actively participating in activities leading to the success of the Assembly.
Her Honor Sie-A-Neh Youh Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia and through the Chief Justice and Associate Justcies of the Honorable The Supreme Court for the Court`s support which the LNBA continues to receive.
Cllr S. Gayah Karmo, Chairman on the House Standing Committee on Judiciary for his able participation to theis first Quarterly assemble and through him the Speaker, Hn Atty Alex J. Tyler and the entire membership of the House of Representatives, and the Chairman of the Independent Information Commission, Cllr Mark Bedor-Wla Freeman by and through him the entire Information Commission for the quality presentation on the FOI at this Quarterly Assembly
The UNMIL field Office in Zwedru Grand Gedeh County, Carter Center, USAID and other local and international organizations for their unflinching and continued support to the Bar, especially in its drive to promote and encourage adherence to the rule of law throughout Liberia.
Done in committee room, this 1st day of March A. D. 2014 at the
Zwedru City Hall, Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County, Republic of Liberia, under our hands and signatures:
His Honor Cllr Roosevelt Z. Willie – Chairman
Her Honor Attorney Cecilia Grandoe Rogers– Co-Chair
Attorney P. Aphonsus Zeon– Secretary
Counselor Koboi Johnson – Advisor