Judiciary holds Nat’l Jury orientation -As Cllr Sirleaf Urges Independence

MONROVIA – The National Jury Manager, Cllr. Alice Kenkpen Sirleaf has called on jurors in the country to be independent and decisive while examining cases  that affect individuals who may have cases in courts for which a judicial remedy is being sought.

Speaking on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at the Temple of Justice during a program marking the orientation for prospective jurors, Cllr. Sirleaf said it is expected of prospective jurors to do the right things for which they were selected.

“You are to listen and decide, on the evidence presented to you in your various courts of selection, whether the person charged with an offence is guilty or not“, the National jury Manager told the prospective jurors.

The National Jury Manager further acknowledged that there will be ups and downs while doing their jobs, but assured them that after their services at the judiciary it will change their perception about the legal system.

“Though there will be fine and ugly , bad and good , those devices you will have to balance here while you are serving , and we can assure you that your experience you are going to have about the court system will be different , your perception when you leave from here will change .” Cllr. Sirleaf lamented.

The constitution of Liberia chapter 111 article 20 {A} and 21 {h] are considered primary sources of jury service. Article 20 {a] states : no person shall be deprived of life, liberty ,security of person , poverty , privilege or any other right except as the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provision laid down in the constitution and in accordance with due process of law.

It also stated that justice shall be done without sale, denial , or delay; and in all cases not arising in courts not of record , under courts –martial and upon impeachment , the parties shall have the right to trial by jury and article  21,[h] also states no person shall be held to answer for a capital  or infamous crimes unless indicated by a grand jury and in all such  cases the accused shall have the right to speedy , public and impartial trial by a jury of the vicinity unless such person shall with appropriate  understanding expressively with a right to a jury trial .

Also speaking during the occasion the Assistant National jury manager Counselor Andrew N. Nimley, said the judiciary takes most of the blame from the public through the collective work of both the jurors and the court staff.

He added that in the court where cases are trial and indictment are being drawn the judiciary is not the one that can write the indictment or sit on various cases, it is those Liberians that are selected as jurors.

Counselor Nimley, further cautioned them to remain uninfluenced by any person who is not a member of the jury as such act is an offence under the Liberian law.

Cllr. Nimley warned the jurors should be careful in executing their duties in various courts of their selection so that whenever people point at the judiciary as being corrupt, the same will not melt on them.

“You are major actors in the judiciary, if possible you are the one  giving us bad luck as jurors as the judiciary doesn’t indict and it is you that are selected to serve as grand jury and petit- jury.” Cllr Nimley noted.

The National Jury Management Assistant Manager furthered that trial by jury is backed by the constitution, adding that the constitution is the voice of the people and not any member of the national legislature.

Accordingly, the Cllr. Nimley, also told the gathering that the ordination will further give them in-depth understanding on how the judiciary branch of government works and they will serve as ambassadors in their own communities.

Outlining the functions of the jury, Cllr Nimley, told them to keep statements made in the jury room confidential and not discuss the case with any person other than members of the jury.

He revealed that doing so will warrant a contempt of court punishable by a fine and or imprisonment to repeat any stamen made in the jury room.

Cllr. Nimley, at the same time warned them to take direction relating to the law from the judge whether or not they agree with him or her and they are to remain impartial and independent.

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