Promoting Access to Justice: a study on Strategies to Implement Collaborative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms and Procedures for Resolving Conflicts in Liberia Liberian Ministry of Justice By Christopher W



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A Study on Alternative Land Dispute Resolution Systems in the Republic of Liberia: Strategies for Coordination and Operationalization of Systems to Enhance Their Effectiveness.” Report to the Liberia Land Commission and the Land Dispute Resolution Task Force. May, 2011.

69 “Diversion Guidelines”, Monrovia, Liberia, Child Justice Forum, n.d 82 Children’s Law of Liberia, 2011, p. 8

70 “Diversion Guidelines”, Monrovia, Liberia, Child Justice Forum, n.d., p.7.

71 Children’s Law of Liberia, Article 9, Section 3.2, 2011, p.29.

72 “Diversion Guidelines”, Monrovia, Liberia, Child Justice Forum, n.d., p. 9 and 10.



73 “Diversion Guidelines”, Monrovia, Liberia, Child Justice Forum, n.d., p. 9.



74 Children’s Law of Liberia, Part XI, Section 5, p. 44.

75 “Recommendations on Accountability: National ‘Palava Hut” Program.” Monrovia: Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2009. P. 365. 90 IBID, p. 365.

76 “Liberia: Palava Hut Program Launched”, All Africa, October 21, 2013.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201310210853.html



77 Initial findings of the INCHR have found that different community groups use diverse formats and procedures to resolve disputes. For example, in the south eastern region, meetings are held in square shape; central region in a circle; and northern region a pentagon shape. The means of settling disputes are also different. For example, the Grebos utilize an aristocratic style and process (Bordia authoritarian) which excludes women and youth. 93 Peace Building Fund Liberia, Mid-Term Review, March 2010, p. 40.

78 Isser, D., Lubkemann, S. and N’Tow, S., p.76.

79 Moore, C.A Study on Alternative Land Dispute Resolution Systems in the Republic of Liberia: Strategies for Coordination and Operationalization of Systems to Enhance Their Effectiveness.” Report to the Liberia Land Commission and the Land Dispute Resolution Task Force. May, 2011.

80 “Liberia: Traditional Council Gets National Status - Becomes Chief and Elders Council of Liberia.” The Informer,

November 30, 2012. http://allafrica.com/stories/201211301295.html



81 "Act to Create the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of the Republic of Liberia." May 31, 2012.

82 “Traditional Council Granted Autonomy Status.” The News, November 27, 1012.

http://thenewslib.com/news/944-traditional-council-granted-autonomy-status-traditional-council-grantedautonomy-status



83 “Liberia: Policy Dialogue and Reform.” http://www.cartercenter.org/peace/conflict_resolution/liberia-policydialogue-reform.html

84 This section of the report is drawn from Moore, C. A Study on Alternative Land Dispute Resolution Systems in

the Republic of Liberia: Strategies for Coordination and Operationalization of Systems to Enhance Their Effectiveness.” p.31.



85 Peace Committees Draft Terms of Reference.

86 “Liberia: Justice in their Own Hands.” http://www.asafeworldforwomen.org/womens-rights/wr-africa/peace-inliberia.html?tmpl=component&type=raw; Liberia Country Office Brief, UN Women, 2011.

http://unwomenwestafrica.blog.com/files/2011/06/Liberia-Country-Office-Brief.pdf



87 Walker, N. “Liberia: Early Warning and Early Response”.

http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/profiles/blogs/liberia-early-warning-and-early-responsecollaboration-by-nat#.UfgYh23Ij1W



88 IBID.

89 SDI Liberia. http://www.greenactorswestafrica.org/organisations/sdi/

90 Profile: Green Advocates. http://globalhumanrights.org/en/country-programs/west-africa/liberia/profile-greenadvocates

91 Hartman, A. “Comparative Analysis of Land Conflicts in Liberia: Grand Gedeh, Lofa and Nimba Counties, 112 Norwegian Refugee Council, Final Report NMFA, January – December 2010. 113 Norwegian Refugee Council, Project Factsheet

92 Norton, G. Searching for Soap Trees: The Norwegian Refugee Council’s Land Dispute Resolution Process in Liberia, January, 2011.

93 It is not clear whether the current Revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Hinterland of Liberia are totally consistent with the Liberian Constitution or international human rights law.

94 Gray vs. Beverly (1907)1 LLR, p. 500 at 502; Karpeh vs. Manning (1936) 5 LLR 162; and Manney vs. Money 2 LLR 618,

95 “Principles for Alternative Land Dispute Resolution in Liberia”. Liberia Land Commission, draft 2011.

96 See: Information, Counseling and Legal Assistance at http://www.nrc.no/?aid=9160708

97 It may not be necessary to pass legislation on mediation in Liberia to implement a pilot program. The Ministry of Justice needs to determine if it is within its authority to do a pilot program without legislation. If it is not required, it will significantly positively impact the timing for when services can be initiated and begin to be delivered to users. 121 Barbu, J. “An Analysis of the Formal Legal Framework Governing Customary Law in Liberia – Part of a project – From of Current practices of Justice to rule of Law: Policy Options for Liberia’s Post-Conflict Decade”. Washington, D.C.: United States Institute for Peace, n.d; and Rose, L. “Customary Land Law in Liberia: An Overview of the Literature”. Monrovia: Liberia Land Commission and the World Bank, January 2011.

98 Jedah vs. Horace involved a travelling Commissioner who ordered natives to drink sassywood. The Court granted an injunction to prevent the use of the sassywood and trial by ordeal.



99 Posum vs. Pardee is a case where sassywood was ordered by a Clan court to resolve conflicting claims to

“passion” of two Kru women.)



100 Executive Law, Ministry of Internal Affairs: Duties of the Minister, 3 LCLR12, s 25.2 (1972)

101 “Chapter 5 – Policy Proposals for Justice Reform in Liberia: Opportunities Under the Current Legal Framework to Expand Access to Justice”. In Customary Justice: Perspectives on Legal Empowerment. Ubink, J. and McInerney, T. (Eds.) Rome: International Development Law Association, 2011, p. 101; and Isser, D.

102 Ibid, p.101

103 Findings of the Legal Working Group, as adopted on December 10, 2009, p. 5. The Revised Hinterland Regulations include many outdated provisions. For example, Article 18 establishes the requirements for a “regular runner service” between districts. Article 22 delegates some responsibility for the maintenance and constructions of roads and bridges to Paramount Chiefs. Article 34 provides that “all male citizens are liable for compulsory labor of public works projects.” Article 35 outlines the responsibilities of chiefs for porterage. Article 38 governing the administration of justice refers to non-existent officials. Article 54 establishes an outdated schedule of costs, fees, and taxes. Article 73 prohibits the practice of sassy-wood, but allows for the use of some forms of trial by ordeal in contradiction to Liberian Supreme Court jurisprudence including Jedah v. Horace (1916) and Possum v. Pardee

104 “Chapter 5 – Policy Proposals for Justice Reform in Liberia: Opportunities Under the Current Legal Framework to Expand Access to Justice”. In Customary Justice: Perspectives on Legal Empowerment. Ubink, J. and McInerney, T.

(Eds.) Rome: International Development Law Association, 2011, p. 106 – 107.



105 Section 24.3, Qualifications of Referee of Chapter 24, Civil Procedure Law of Liberia, Liberia Code of Laws Revised, and Volume1, Title 1.

106 Chapter 64, Arbitration, Section 64.3 of Chapter 64, Civil Procedure Law, Liberia Code of Laws Revised, Volume 1, Title 1.

107 Findings of the Legal Working Group, As adopted on December 10, 2009, p. 8.

108 Constitution of Liberia, Article 65.

109 Manney vs. Money (2) LLR 618. Manney was a case in which a Kru native society failed to pay death benefits and the Governor of Kru jailed a member of the society until benefits were paid. The Supreme Court up held habeas corpus and ordered the release of the incarcerated party.

110 Constitution of Liberia, Chapter VII, Article 66).

111 National Conference on Enhancing Access to Justice: A Review of the Traditional & and Formal Justice Systems in Liberia, p. 36.

112 Correspondence with Alexandra Hartman, researcher for the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Information, Counselling and Legal Assistance Project in Liberia, July 30, 2013.

113 Conversation between the author and Dr. O.B. Brandy, Chairman of the Land Commission, Fall, 1012.

114 This list of strengths is illustrative and not exhaustive of those found in current dispute resolution procedures outside of the adjudicative system provided by the Ministry of Justice and associated courts of Liberia.

115 Case Progression: Paramount Chiefs and the Tribal Governor’s Courts Structure. Monrovia, Liberia: UNMIL – Legal and Judicial Support Division, 2013.



116 “The Land Disputes Tribunals Act, Chapter 303A).” Nairobi, Kenya: National Council for Law Reporting, 2009.



117 Offenses proposed by the Pre-Trial Detention Taskforce on June 28th, 2012, that should be considered most suitable for alternatives to detention include: §10.1 Criminal attempt: 1st degree misdemeanor (attempt to commit 3rd degree felony); §10.2 Criminal facilitation: 1st degree misdemeanor (facilitation of 2nd or 3rd degree felony); §10.3 Criminal solicitation: 1st degree misdemeanor (solicitation of 3rd degree felony); §10.4 Criminal conspiracy: 1st degree misdemeanor (conspiracy to commit 3rd degree felony); §11.1 Offenses Against Internal Security: 1st degree misdemeanor (Criminal Libel Against the President), 1st degree misdemeanor (Criminal Malevolence), (1st degree misdemeanor “avoiding military service obligation” found inappropriate to be included); §12.1 Obstructing Government Operations: 1st degree misdemeanor (Physical obstruction of government function – 12.1),1st degree misdemeanor (Obstruction of government function by public servant – 12.3),1st degree misdemeanor (Refusal to testify before, or hindering certain official bodies); ( 1st degree misdemeanor “preventing arrest or discharge of other duties” found too serious to be included); §12.5 Obstructing Government Operations: Aiding Consummation of a crime: 2nd degree misdemeanor (aiding consummation of a 1st degree misdemeanor), 1st degree misdemeanor (aiding consummation of a 3rd degree felony); §12.6 Obstructing Government Operations -- Bail Jumping: 1st degree misdemeanor (bail jumping on a misdemeanor charge); §12.7 Obstructing Government Operations -- Escape: 2nd degree misdemeanor (public servants negligently permit escape), 1st degree misdemeanor (public servants recklessly permit escape); §12.11 Obstructing Government Operations-- Smuggling: 1st degree misdemeanor (smuggling object valued at <$500, or duty <$100); §12.30 Perjury and other falsification in official matters: 2nd degree misdemeanor (false report to law enforcement officer of crime or incident that did not occur, 2nd degree misdemeanor (impersonating official to gain a thing of value) (1st degree misdemeanor found too serious to be included); §12.70 Abuse of Office: 1st degree misdemeanor (unlawful disclosure of confidential information), ( 1st degree misdemeanor “official oppression” and 1st degree misdemeanor

speculating or wagering on official action or information” were found inappropriate to be included); §13.1 Offenses Against Civil Rights (criminal discrimination); §14.20 Assaults, endangering behaviors and threats: 2nd degree misdemeanor (simple assault during unarmed fight entered into by mutual consent), 2nd degree misdemeanor



118 “Respecting the Conduct of Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions Coordination: Memorandum of Understanding between the Liberia National Police and the Prosecution Service”. Monrovia, Liberia, n.d., pp. 7 – 8.

119 U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service “About the Community Relations Service.” http://www.justice.gov/crs/pubs/pubflyercrsfactsheet92003.ht

120 Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. http://www.rspo.org/; and Wildau, S., Moore C., Atkins, D., and O’Neill, E. A Guide to Designing and Implementing Grievance Mechanisms for Development Projects. Washington, D.C.: Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman, International Finance Corporation, 2008.

121 C. Moore The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, (4th ed.), Forthcoming March 2014.



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