The Judge of Criminal Court ‘D’ Osman Feika is calling for an extension in the forty-two days allotted for jury sessions of trial days for Circuit Courts.
Under section 3.8 (2) of the New Judiciary Law of Liberia, there are 42 days allocated for jury sessions within which a case must be heard and disposed of unless approved authorization is granted by the chief justice to allow an ongoing trial to continue for extra days after the completion of the 42 days.
According to Judge Feika, the multiplicity of motions as well as during trial technicalities implored by lawyers, adding that most of the 42 days allotted for jury sessions are exhausted before the end of the court’s term, thus impeding the speedy trial require as envisaged under Article 21(h) of the Liberian Constitution.
Judge Osman Feika recommended that the jury session for each Court term be increased to five months for Circuit Courts beginning February and ending June for the first term, while the second term is suggested to run from July to November each year.
The rationale for this change in the terms of Circuit Courts in the wisdom of the Judge will enhance the speedy trial requirement as envisaged under the constitution of Liberia and aim at the same time provide Judges adequate time to dispose of trial technicalities and a plethora of motions that attend same, and also allow the Court to hear a lot more cases within Court’s term.
Judge Feika believes the change in the term of court will afford judges some rest time for the months of December and January during which time they will look after their health, refresh themselves and at the same time, attend to pressing family issues.
According to him, anything short of affording the accused person’s reasonable trial time after indictment, that is to say, a trial being conducted within two successive terms of the court is a recipe for social disorder and disharmony.
The judge then urged the Judiciary to do the needful. The Criminal Court D judge noted that it is no secret that the current security situation in Liberia is fragile while armed robbery and dangerous criminal activities are on the increase.
Judge Feika noted that it was important to beseech the relevant security apparatus to take concrete steps aimed at curtailing crimes in various communities.
Reported by: Watson Richards