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Thursday, February 22, 2024

LIBERIAN PUBLIC URGES U.S. GOVERNMENT TO SANCTION CORRUPT JUDGES TOO, ENSURING JUSTICE FOR ALL

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A growing segment of the Liberian public is calling upon the US Treasury and State Departments to take immediate and decisive action against criminal judges in Liberia who have allegedly perpetuated a deeply entrenched system where justice is only attainable by the highest bidders.

In a country where poverty is widespread, the denial of justice to the poor has become an alarming way of life, particularly in cases involving foreign investors or wealthy individuals, said one interviewee.

Liberia, a nation striving to overcome its challenges and foster development, has been grappling with a deeply rooted issue of corruption within its judiciary.

“The poor masses, lacking the financial means to pay off judges, find themselves at a severe disadvantage when seeking justice. This has created a distressing situation where the outcome of cases is often determined by the size of one’s wallet rather than the merits of the case”, said another interviewee.

“The call for the US Government to impose sanctions on corrupt judges in Liberia is a plea for justice and equality. It highlights the urgent need to address the systemic corruption that has plagued the country’s courts, undermining the rule of law and hindering progress.”

A female Liberian said “The consequences of this corruption are particularly devastating for the poor, who are disproportionately affected by the lack of access to justice.

“In a country where poverty is pervasive, the denial of justice to the poor has become an unfortunate reality. The inability to afford legal representation or pay bribes to judges leaves the poor masses vulnerable and marginalized within the judicial system. This creates a stark contrast where the wealthy and influential can manipulate the legal process to their advantage, while the poor are left without recourse” she told Smart News.

The impact of this corruption is particularly evident in cases involving foreign investors or wealthy individuals, said another. “The poor, lacking the resources to compete with the influence of money, often find themselves on the losing end of legal battles. This not only perpetuates a cycle of injustice but also hampers Liberia’s ability to attract foreign investment and foster economic growth.”

The plea to the US Treasury and State Departments seeks to hold accountable those judges who have compromised the integrity of the judicial system. By imposing sanctions on these “criminal judges”, the hope is to deter others from engaging in corrupt practices and restore faith in the judiciary.

Liberia, as a nation, recognizes the importance of a fair and transparent justice system that serves all its citizens, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Efforts to combat corruption within the judiciary are underway, but the support and intervention of the international community, particularly the United States, are seen as crucial in achieving meaningful change.

The call for sanctions on alleged  corrupt judges is not only a demand for justice but also a plea for the empowerment of the poor and marginalized in Liberia, said one legal practitioner who said he agreed with the call. It is a call to level the playing field and ensure that justice is not a privilege reserved for the wealthy but a fundamental right accessible to all, he added, stressing, “Thus will make the works of lawyers easier.”

“As the Liberian public continues to advocate for the imposition of sanctions, it is hoped that the US Government will heed their call and take decisive action. By doing so, the US Government can play a pivotal role in supporting Liberia’s efforts to combat corruption, restore faith in the judiciary, and ultimately ensure justice for all its citizens.

“The road ahead may be challenging, but with the collective efforts of the Liberian public, the support of the international community, and the determination to uphold the principles of justice, Liberia, especially with the ushering in of the new Boakai Government, we can pave the way for a brighter and more equitable future, another lawyer said.

“It is imperative that the US Treasury and State Departments recognize the urgency of the situation and act swiftly to address the pervasive corruption within Liberia’s judiciary. Only through such actions can justice be restored and the rights of the poor and marginalized be protected”, the Liberians say.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet, a product of Smart Media Group Inc. smartnewsliberia.com publishes a wide range of content including politics, business, sports, and entertainment on and about Liberia. Contact: +231777425285/ 886946925 Email: info@smartnewsliberia.com/ smartnewsliberia@gmail.com

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