Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Judges blame for circumventing Judicial Cannon 5

-Cllr. Flomo says some judges no longer see court as the ‘place of last hope’ Counselor James Flomo, Public Defenders Coordinator, says some judges in Liberia no longer see the court the last place of hope for man in the earth as enshrined in Judicial Cannon 5. He made the assertion last Monday, August 10, 2015 during the opening of circuit courts for the august term when he responded to the Judges’ charge delivered by Her Honor Ceaineh Clinton Johnson presiding at Criminal Court “E”. “Some of the judges do not know that we go there [at court] for last hope so that they can treat us as such. Some of them come with their own discretional issues,” he said. Cllr. Flomo pointed out that on one occasion he was representing a client who secured a bond but was required to be present at the court every Friday to sign in which he described as strange in the judicial system. “Additionally, some of the judges decide how much should be the bond. They say ‘ok, even though we allow you to file bond got to pay a fee’. We know that the person we are representing is an indigent,” he said. Cllr. Flomo believed that such acts were not in line with Judicial Cannon 5 which provides that: ‘the court is the last place of hope for man on earth’ which place the court in a sacred and reverend place. Having stated how he believed the cannon was being bent by some judges, Cllr. Flomo noted that the state have been drawing up some bogus indictments. “Your honor we all are aware that there are some bogus indictments. There is nothing wrong with releasing people who have been illegally and worrying about there will be more criminal in society,” he said. He hoped that the judiciary will work collectively to handle the issue so that justice can prevail in the country. “We are not here to play games with people life. We are here so that when people come in need of justice they can have justice,” he said. Speaking earlier, Her Honor Ceaineh Clinton Johnson said that the attainment of the creation of the court as the place of last hope for man on earth has often been wrongly presumed or placed on the actions of the judges. She noted that it was a sheared responsibility of all actors, the judges, state prosecutors and defense lawyers must work together to ensure that the court deliver the justice that the people need. “to the public defense counsels, your mandate is to give representation to those who cannot afford the cost of representation. Your job is not done by only searching for doubts in the prosecution case; your job is done by equally searching for the truth,” she said. She noted that public defenders would not be doing justice when, from all things considered, their clients have told them the truth but they still want them to be set freed because of a missing link in the prosecution case. “When you do this, you put back into society someone who should be behind bars to protect [other] people from his/her behaviors,” she said.

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