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Friday, June 14, 2024

LNBA PRESIDENT AND CHIEF JUSTICE REPRESENT LIBERIA AT ECOWAS COURT CONFERENCE

Date:

MONROVIA – A high-powered Liberian delegation comprising Cllr. Sylvester D. Rennie, National President of the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA), and Her Honor Sie-A-Nyene G. Yuoh, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, has departed the country for a week to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to participate in an international conference hosted by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice.

The international conference, currently taking place from May 13—17, 2024, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, is themed “Enhancing the Role, Relevance and Effectiveness of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice through the Strengthening of Synergies between the Court and National Stakeholders.” The conference aims to bring together jurists, scholars, and other stakeholders from ECOWAS institutions/agencies and member states.

The LNBA emphasized the importance of the conference theme, stating that it aims to generate constructive discussions around the strengths and weaknesses of the court’s relationships with various national stakeholders. It seeks to explore practical solutions to strengthen these relationships for the enhancement of the court’s role, relevance, and effectiveness.

In a related development, the Liberian National Bar Association (LNBA) has commended President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr. for signing Executive Order #131 to establish the Office of War and Economic Crimes Courts in Liberia. The LNBA sees this move as demonstrating political will that will set the pace to bring closure and accountability to major atrocities committed during the Liberian civil conflict after over two decades.

In a press release issued Wednesday, May 15, 2024, and signed by the LNBA National Secretary-General, Cllr. Bornor M. Varmah, the bar expressly commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cllr. J. Fonati Koffa, and Senate Pro-Tempore Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence for coordinating and superintending the recent Joint Resolution adopted by the National Legislature, which is a substantial step toward ending wartime impunity.

The LNBA highlighted that the move comes more than 20 years after Liberia’s civil conflict, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 250,000 people. The legal luminaries recounted that the Liberian civil conflicts witnessed atrocities, such as mass killings, rape, and forced recruitment of child soldiers.

The LNBA, in keeping with Executive Order #131, has assured the Boakai administration of its unrelenting support in setting up the mechanism and processes for the establishment of the court, which will provide accountability for war-era atrocities.

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