MONROVIA – For quite a while the Liberia Judiciary System has come under undue criticisms, labelled inept and corrupt by independent commentators, more often than not without specifics. And the wild generalization has haunted this third cardinal branch of the Liberian governance architecture, keeping it in high suspicion particularly when it comes out with a ruling. In another rare turn of things, this Last Arbiter of Justice has welcomed yet another new boss whom President George Weah described as endowed with a lot of experience and wisdom. In her takeover speech, following her commissioning by the President, Cllr. Sie-A-Nyene Yuoh pledged to dispense justice “without fear and favor”. The Analyst reports.
The 25th Chief Justice of the Republic has taken over the wheels of one of the nation’s most important institutions, the Judiciary Branch. About 175 years since the nation’s founding, Cllr Sie-A-Nyene Grapay Yuoh has ascended to this revered post as the third female to do so, and she has promised faithfully to dispense transparent justice without fear or favor.
She described her commissioning which took place at the Executive Mansion on Thursday, September 29, 2022, as not an ordinary occasion but in consonance with the constitution of Liberia.
Cllr. Yuoh was in August nominated by President George Manneh Weah and subsequently confirmed by the Liberian Senate.
On Thursday, September 29, 2022, she was formally commissioned by President Weah just a way after her predecessor, Cllr Francis Korkpor’s retirement ceremonies were held.
The new Chief Justice in a rather militant tune told the audience of the well-attended event witnessed by senior government officials, including Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Speaker Bhofal Chambers, Senate Pro Tempore Albert Chie, members of the cabinet and other government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, captains of industry, among others, that she was cognizant of the fact that she was just a single person among equals who will have to work with her other colleagues on the bench of the High Court to impartially and faithfully discharge the functions and duties they were all assigned.
“Accordingly, with my present position as Chief Justice, we reaffirm our commitment to administer and dispense justice without fear or favor,” she said. “Notwithstanding, with the separation of power, my colleagues and I on the Supreme Court bench which is the head of the judiciary branch of government will always comply with the provision of Article 3 of the constitution, that is to coordinate with the other two branches of government , the Legislature and the Executive.”
The new Chief Justice takes over from Cllr. Francis Korkpor who was recently honorably retired after reaching the mandatory age of 70 consistent with the Constitution of Liberia.
Performing the commissioning ceremony, President George Manneh Weah said he had no doubts about the ability of the new Chief Justice to perform to expectations because she has got the requisite experience, skills, and qualifications.
As the “Feminist in Chief of Liberia,” the President expressed delight about the fact that Cllr Youh was appointed by him as the third female Chief Justice since 1847, “a period of 175 years of independence to occupy the exalted office, making her the head of the judiciary branch of government”.
The President further said: “Your Honor, upon my nomination, you have been successfully vetted and confirmed by the Honorable Liberian Senate, following upon which you are now being commissioned by me as evidence of the full confidence and support of the other two branches of our tripartite governance structure.”
President Weah said the new Chief Justice has the requisite experience, skills, and qualifications to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, considering the more than four decades she has practiced in Liberia as a trial and transactional lawyer, as well as nine years as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court bench.
“It is important to note that, throughout your illustrious career in the practice of law and jurisprudence in Liberia,” the President told Madam Youh, “you have earned a well-deserved reputation of unquestionable character and unimpeachable good judgment.”
He also noted that the new Chief Justice has become the first female to ascend to this high office of leadership in the Second Branch of Government since 2003, some 19 years ago.
She comes to the office with vast experience garnered from both the public and professional stage. A 1974 product of the St. Theresa Convent in Monrovia, Madam Yuoh took a Bachelor’s of Arts from the Cuttington University College, now Cuttington University in 1978 and graduated from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law in 1981.
She entered the public service through the Executive Branch of government first at the Ministry of Justice as an Assistant Minister for Legal Affairs from 1983-1985, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the Coordinator, African Affairs, 1988-1990, the Central Bank of Liberia(CBL), as Corporate Secretary/Assistant Legal Counsel/Secretary, Board of Governors of CBL from 2000-2003 and lastly at the Law Reform Commission, where she served as Acting Executive Director and Commissioner respectively from July 2011-April 2013.
She was appointed as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 2013, the position she held until she was recently appointed as CJ of Liberia.