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Against Several Lawyers: Chief Justice Threatens Fine

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By: Frank P. Martin

MONROVIA: The Chief Justice of the Republic of Liberia, Her Honor, Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh, has threatened stringent measures against some members of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) for their “deliberate refusal” to attend celebration of the International Law Day.

Friday, May 3, 2024, several Liberian lawyers joined their international counterparts to commemorate International Law Day, held at the Paynesville City Hall, outside Monrovia.

May 1, each year, is designated as International Law Day to pay homage to legal practitioners across World who have made significant impacts and brought justice to the needy.

This year celebration in Liberia was held under the theme: “The Mechanism to Establish War and Economic Crimes Court in for Liberia.”

The celebration of the legal day at the Paynesville City Hall was, however, poorly attended by lawyers, something which apparently angered the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh, to send a caveat to her professional colleagues with a penalty of fine.

She was apparently surprised over the glaring absence of many prominent lawyers of the country who stayed away from the international law-day celebration including other Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Delivering a formal statement before her professional colleagues, and other local and foreign dignitaries, Chief Justice Yuoh stressed that lawyers across the Liberian nation should be truthful to their words by adhering to the rule of law.

“Many Judges, lawyers, including my colleagues from the Supreme Courts are currently not here today. “I am going to fine all those who failed to attend this program including my colleagues at the Supreme Court,” she disclosed.

Justice Yuoh said their actions to stay away from the program without any concrete reasons, undermines the adherence to the rule of law that is being discussed every day in various Courts in the country.

Yuoh: “We, as legal practitioners, always talked about adherence to the rule of law but we refused to adhere to it which speaks volumes. Because, adherence to the rule of law is an ethical standard of the legal profession. We should always in our daily lives practice the adherence to the rule of law.”

According to her, as for assigned Judges of Circuits across country, they were served with written communications, informing them about celebration of the day.

“In fact, we told them that all courts should be closed for today, but today most of them are not here. This is one of the adherences to the rule of law. Law Day is intended for us to honor the legal profession, but it is unfortunate that lawyers including Associate Justices are not here but anyway I will take action, thanks to God that I am the administrative head of the Judiciary. So, I will fine them, and they will pay,” she emphasized.

However, the Chief Justice described the day as “unique day” for the legal practitioners across world with Liberia being no exception.

Justice Yuoh urged Lawyers, Judges, and Magistrates to reflect on progress and challenges over the year as legal practitioners in the country.

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