After the bloody and demoralizing civil wars fought in Liberia from 1989 through 1996, a critical peace-building challenge has been to build its citizens’ trust in the justice system. In recent years, much work and international support have gone into improving the formal justice system, including training judges, magistrates, prosecutors, and public defenders; managing court programs and workflow; and renovating court buildings.
In June 2008, Kerry was part of the ground-breaking ceremony for the new James A.A. Pierre Judicial Institute in Monrovia, Liberia. A week of conferences and seminars were held in Monrovia, and Kerry realtimed the ceremonies and presentations for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the justices, and judges from all over Liberia. In courts of record, Liberia’s “court reporters” were using a typewriter to capture the record. You can imagine the time and frustration this brought to the judicial system. Soon thereafter, funds were obtained and much coordination resulted in four students from around Liberia coming to Atlanta to train as court reporters. In 2010, the court reporters returned to their country to work in the courtrooms and make a record.
Supreme Court Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, Liberia; Kerry Anderson, Atlanta, GA; US District Court Judge Andre
Davis, Baltimore, MD; Supreme Court Justice Jamesetta Wolokollie, Liberia; Supreme Court Justice Francis
Korpor, Liberia; Justice Joseph Akamba, Ghana; Dr. James G. Apple, Washington, D.C.; Peter Kiefer, Maricopa
County, AZ; Supreme Court Justice Gladys Johnson, Liberia; Ret. Judge Mike Enwall, Boulder, CO.