Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor
Korkpor Says Demonstration On Court Premises Unwholesome
MONROVIA, March 16 (LINA) - Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor has observed that demonstrating on court premises amidst clapping, jeering and booing disrupts the decorum and solemn proceedings of the court.
He said if this is permitted to be done by one group supporting one party litigant, then it should be permitted for the opposing party litigant but, according to him, the result would be chaotic.
Korkpor noted that justice cannot flourish in such unwholesome condition, citing Article 17 of the Constitution, which provides for the right to assemble and states that such right should be exercised “in an orderly and peaceful manner...”
“So, the right to assemble is not absolute,” Justice Korkpor said at the formal opening of the March Term of the Supreme Court on Monday, according to an Executive Mansion release.
He said “the very Constitution, which provides for that right, also places a caveat on its exercise,” noting that the right to assemble should not be exercised in a
manner that will violate the rights of others.
He said demonstrating on the premises of the courts has a chilling effect on justice that may affect the positions of judges, jurors and witnesses and thereby deprive the parties before the courts of the right to free and fair trial.
According to him, the law requires judges, jurors and witnesses to listen to and examine the cases before them as they understand them from their certain knowledge, independent of any outside influence or pressure.
“As we see it the spirit of an independent decision is seriously assailed when judicial actors are pressured and coerced. This may lead to extra judicial action,” he emphasized.