The Gouengbayai Chiefdom in Bopolu District, Gbarpolu County is expected to get a magisterial court pending the signing of an act submitted by the House of Representatives to the Liberian Senate for concurrence and then President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s signature.
According to a report submitted by the House’s committee on Judiciary, Internal Affairs, Ways, Means and Finance, upon its passage series of public hearings and extraordinary sessions will be held by the Committee with the aim of constructing the magisterial court in Gouengbayai Chiefdom.
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives after the chiefdom met the basic requirements set for the establishment of a magisterial court. “The Committee is convinced and recommends for the passage into law this bill and be forwarded to the Senate for concurrence having critically considered the implications of the distance, population of over 48,000 inhabitants in the area, a well-defined territory as well as the revenue cost attached,” the document indicated.
The document furthered that the bill when passed and signed into law for the establishment of said court, will cover Bama, Fallah, and Bamboo Clans and other surrounding towns and villages, where people walk 37 miles to seek legal redress in matters in the chiefdom.
According to the bill, the establishment of a magisterial court in the chiefdom will not only encourage citizens living in the area to have access to the judicial system to seek redress, but also will reduce the huge burden of transportation and crime rates in the area.
“The magisterial Court hereby created shall be situated in Jallone Town, Gouengbayai Chiefdom, the President of the Republic of Liberia shall nominate and, with the consent of the Liberian Senate, appoint and commission a stipendiary magistrate and two associate magistrates, other officers for the said court may be appointed as in keeping with rules governing other magisterial courts within the country.”
“Salaries of the stipendiary magistrates, associates magistrates and other officers for the said court shall be provided for by an annual budgetary appropriation,” the document added.
Meanwhile, Gbarpolu County District One, Representative, Alfred G. Koiwood, has welcomed the passage of the act to create the court in Gouengbayai Chiefdom, noting that the bill will be signed to establish the court in the chiefdom for citizens who seek legal redress.