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The Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia over the weekend dedicated a modern Eighth Judicial Circuit Court complex in Sanniquellie, Nimba County.

The judicial complex houses many courts including the Eighth Judiciary Circuit, Debt Court, Traffic Court, Tax Court, Revenue Court and the Magistrate Court.

In 2015, the Supreme Court broke grounds for the construction of the Eighth Judicial complex in Sanniquellie, the provincial capital of Nimba County. Marking remarks at the ceremony, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia stated that the facilities will afford judges, staff of the judiciary and other stakeholders in the rule of law sector the opportunity to work in an improved environment to enhance productivity.
Justice Francis S. Korkpor further said that the availability of many courts and offices in one central location will make it easy for judicial actors to coordinate activities for the disposition of cases; and it will provide easy access to justice as contemplated by the law; noting that the ultimate intent is to ensure speedy and quality service in the dispensation of justice.
The facilities, according to the Chief Justice, promotes the concept of judicial independence, saying that it is time that the judiciary, an independent branch of government, is housed in its own facilities throughout the country, conducive for work and free from outside influences.
He added that the building that was used to house the Eighth Judiciary Circuit Court in Sanniquellie does not belong to the judiciary and it was never intended as a court facility, as such it lacks the required space and accommodation for judicial actors.
“We should note that the scope and size of each judiciary complex we construct depends on the case load of the particular judiciary circuit,” he said. Justice Korkpor maintained that Nimba County is a very large county with fast growing population and caseloads, as such, he added: “the county therefore deserves a large judicial complex, such as the one we are dedicating today.”
The compound also has a separate structure that houses Criminal Court “E”, a court that deals with cases of sexual gender-based violence which is mostly rape cases, and a separate structure that serves as living quarters for the Resident Circuit Judge of the county and Assigned Circuit Judge. Justice Korkpor narrates that “there are offices for the county attorney, the public defenders and city solicitors. There is an area for the petty jury and the grand jury. The area for the petty jury is divided into sections, one for male jurors and the other for female jurors.”
The funds for the construction of the complex were provided exclusively by the government, this, according to Justice Korkpor is a practical demonstration of the commitment of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf`s administration to ensure that the judiciary is empowered so that it will always remain that branch of government which the country`s democracy is firmly anchored.
Justice Korkpor, during the ceremony, assured Liberians and foreign residents within the territorial confines of the country that the judiciary of Liberia will remain fair and transparent in deciding all cases based on the evidence that is applicable laws.
“We urge all aggrieved parties to take their cases to court and they will be fairly treated. We, however, ask that the judiciary be left alone so that its rhythm will not be disturbed, especially during this critical time of elections.”
He added that previously, other subordinate courts in Sanniquellie were also being operated not only in less suitable facilities, but they were in properties rented from private individuals who are potential litigants before the court.
According to him, the practice has the propensity to compromise the independence of the judiciary.
Chief Justice Korkpor used the occasion to applaud the administration of President Sirleaf for the level of support given to the judiciary over the years, especially to the rule of law programs.
“This is a practical demonstration of President Sirleaf administration’s commitment to ensure that the judiciary is empowered so that it will always remain that branch of government on which our democracy is firmly anchored,” the Chief Justice emphasized.

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