SG Cephus Terms WCC Establishment in Liberia as Very Difficult

Despite several calls from Liberians to establish the War and Economic Crimes Court in the country, Liberia Solicitor General, Cllr. Sayma Syrennius Cephus has termed as very difficult for the establishment of the court without amending several constitutional provisions.

As an effort to lay this matter to rest, President George Weah wrote the leadership of the Liberian Senate, requesting that august body’s advice on the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report.

This request by the Liberian leader sparked huge debate among senator for days with some senators recommending that there is a need for setting up a Transitional Justice Commission as the best way forward while those supporting the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court were concerned about the timing and funding.

The leadership of the Liberian Senate through a committee of the whole, finally advised President Weah to set up a Transitional Justice Commission that would analyze and investigate the findings of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission amid diverse public opinion on whether or not to implement the recommendations of the report and the establishment of War and Economic Crimes Court.

But appearing as studio guest Friday on the State’s Radio, Cllr. Cephus stressed the need for the amendment of several lined constitutional provisions enshrined within the 1986 Constitution by the Liberian Legislature for the establishment of the court in the country.

Cllr. Cephus named Articles Two which he termed as the foundation of the Liberian Constitution and 50 under which the president exercises three cardinal functions, including heads of government, head of state and commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

He further outlined Articles 54 “C” an “F”, in which the president is given the constitutional rights to appoint magistrates and judges of the Supreme Court of Liberia who are only Liberian citizens, including Articles 27 “B” and 56 “B” of the 1986 Constitution.

The Solicitor General further named Articles 65 and 66 of the Constitution, which gives the Supreme Court of Liberia the powers as the final Arbiter of justice in the country; something according to him, clarifies that no court is above the highest court of the land.

Meanwhile, Cllr. Cephus noted that the decision to rectify a treaty and turn it into a law is the authority of the Liberian Senate, stressing that the president is only a signatory to the treaty who is not clothed with authority to change it into a law.

The Liberia Solicitor General further termed as difficult for establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court in the country without amending all of the constitutional provisions outlined; something according to him is in pursuant to Article 91 which sets all fundamental basis for any court to be established.

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