Liberia: highlighting importance of rule of law, top UN envoy hands over courthouses

Liberia: highlighting importance of rule of law, top UN envoy hands over courthouses

SRSG Doss at courthouse's  commissioning
The top United Nations envoy to Liberia has handed over recently renovated Circuit and Magistrate's courts in the southeast of the war-torn nation, underscoring the importance of the rule of law which he characterized as "the firmest pillar of good government."

The courts are in Maryland County, close to the once war-shattered nation's border with Côte d’Ivoire, and were renovated by the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) through its Quick Impact Projects Initiative.

"Without the rule of law, social and economic development cannot be accomplished," said Alan Doss, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, said at a handover ceremony, urging the people of the County to respect and support the court's work as well as to work closely with law enforcement agencies to prevent crime.

Although Mr. Doss will soon be leaving his position, he stressed that UNMIL will not be leaving Liberia, which is rebuilding after a brutal 14-year civil war.

The County's Superintendent Sie-Teba Neufville thanked the Mission for its support to the Judiciary and appealed to Mr. Doss to continue to promote Liberia's tourism, agriculture and mining potential.

To date, UNMIL has constructed and rehabilitated nine courthouses, and work is ongoing on five others. The Mission has also renovated or constructed 24 police stations and seven correctional facilities throughout Liberia.

UNMIL has also been facilitating the training of court officers and lawyers to serve as defense and prosecution attorneys to allow for the fair and prompt adjudication of cases across the country.