By Edwin G. Wandah
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Francis S. Korkpor Sr., has urged all citizens and foreign nationals residing in the country to be cognizant of the limitations on the exercise of certain constitutional and statutory rights during this period of State Emergency. According to Chief Justice Korkpor during the opening of the October Term of Court, people “must remain cautious, alert and obedient to all measures declared to fight the virus.”
He intimated that the constitution authorizes the President to exercise a range of powers and to curtail certain rights otherwise available to citizens and residents of this nation during normal times.
Chief Justice Francis Korkpor Sr. said courts will remain open to review cases as part of its normal procedures.
He stated further that although, the spread of the Ebola virus in the country has worried several persons in the country, but said if fewer measures are not put in place, there is a likelihood that the virus may last longer.
He urged all Liberians and foreign nationals in the country to abide by those preventive measures outlined by the Ministry of Health and International Partners including the CDC, World Bank and other developing partners. He said, “Now, while our constitution provides for a government with three co-equal branches, “coordinate” and cooperate with one another during this critical period of our nation to achieve the common goal of eradicating the Ebola virus.”
“Cooperation by the three branches of the Government especially at this time does not mean that any one branch will relinquish any of its powers to one or the other two branches.”
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor Sr. has called on the Judiciary to collaborate with the National Legislature and the Executive Branches of Governments to every lawful venture and initiative fight the virus.
He further intimated that as part of a concrete demonstration of a commitment to fighting the Ebola there has been some healthy measures put in place. “As a concrete demonstration of our commitment to fight the Ebola virus, we must all cooperate in the eradication of the disease,” Chief Justice Korkpor stated.
According to him, he and his colleagues have resolved to contribute one month salaries and allowances to fighting the Ebola virus at a rate of 25 percent, with other colleagues from other courts planning similar contributions.