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Strengthening the Administration of Justice

  • Many of the most important legal proceedings in Libera take place inside the Temple of Justice, in Monrovia, which houses the Supreme Court. (Photo: The Carter Center)

The Carter Center began working with the Ministry of Justice in 2006 to fill its key short- and long-term needs by providing practical support to its everyday operations. This included not only basic support, such as the provision of internet, but also direct legal assistance.

The Center seconded a Liberian attorney to the ministry to support the minister and the solicitor general on a day-to-day basis. It also helped conduct numerous trainings for prosecutors, magistrates, and civic educators. Key among these were regular county attorney trainings to build the capacity of Liberia's prosecutors and trainings for the country's magistrates. 

During this period, the Center also helped to:

  • Develop the Sexual and Gender-Based Violent Crimes Unit within the Ministry of Justice.
  • Design the training manual for prosecutors.
  • Develop standard operating procedures for prosecutors.
  • Support the establishment and running of the James A.A. Pierce Judicial Institute for training magistrates and judges.
  • Strengthen the public defender's office.
  • Develop a Liberia Law Fellowship Program in partnership with the Transitional Law Institute of Washington and Lee University School of Law.
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Photo of River Gbeh Magisterial Court clerk.(Click to enlarge)
Carter Center-sponsored programs have helped train people throughout rural Liberia's justice sector, including this River Gbeh magistrate.

Photo of a magistrate in Zwedru, Liberia.(Click to enlarge)
The Carter Center helps provide training to judges, magistrates, prosecutors and public defenders, helping to strengthen the formal legal system.

"An often overlooked yet critical element to achieving this aim [of post-conflict reconstruction] is the prioritization of the restructuring and empowerment of community-based justice mechanisms that have been damaged or discredited by the war." — President Carter

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