Judiciary Yearns For Adequacy In Judges’ Salaries

By P Nas Mulbah

“We are contacting the relevant officials of government to be able to address the issue of salary harmonization when it comes to judges because the law is there; the constitution provision is clear. The inadequacy in judges salary must be address.”

These were the words of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, His Honor Francis S. Korkpor, when he spoke at the formal opening of the First Judicial Circuit Criminal Assizes A, B, C, D & E for Montserrado County at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia on Monday, August 9, 2021.

Making special remarks at the ceremony, Chief Justice Korkpor said the full bench of the Supreme Court is not sleeping on the issue of judges’ salary, thus stating that they are contacting relevant officials in Government to be able to address the issue of salary harmonization for judges.

Chief Justice Korkpor said the issue of inadequacy of judges’ salary has been going on for such a long time now. 

At the last judicial conference held in June of this year, the issue came on the floor and it is part of the resolution that was adopted.

According to the Chief Justice, currently members of the implementation committee are being appointed to implement the resolution adopted from the judicial conference. 

Prominent amongst those resolution will be the issue of salary for judges and justices.

Chief Justice Korkpor: “If you are saying judges must be above reproach and there should be justice, there is a corresponding responsibility. Pay them well. In fact, it is stated in one of the judicial cannons.”

Also speaking, Associate Justice Sie-A-Nyeneh Youh thanked judges for their hard work and the resilience they continue to show despite challenges.

Justice Youh said the issue of salary and other benefits like gasoline, vehicle maintenance and provision of logistics is a concern for the high court.

Justice Youh explained that she has served for the past eight years at the helm of the Judiciary and has seen Resident Judges work around the clock year in year out without even taking up vacation and that include justices of the Supreme Court.

A typical example she said is that since last year’s March Term of Court, no justices have taken a break because there were pre-complaints regarding the Senatorial elections coming to the Supreme Court. She added that there are still election complaints coming to the high court.

“I want to identify with our judges and to commend them because this comes out most often in our justice forum as to what we can do,” she intoned.

She called on judicial actors to help find a way to engage both the Legislative and Executive branches of government to see reason to amend the law in order to have relieving judges come and relieve the Resident Circuit Judges.

“Can you imagine somebody sitting down in Grand Kru County from one court term to the other but can’t come to visit his family or go anywhere.”

The Associate Justice then rallied all those coming before the court to come with little more sympathy knowing fully well what judges are going through.

 

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