Liberia – Establishing a Judicial Training Institute and Court Reporter Training
In November-December 2003, at the invitation of the UN Mission in Liberia, a team from ILAC visited Monrovia. Its assessment report was widely circulated and has eventually formed the basis for a substantial number of subsequent technical assistance projects, although political turmoil in Liberia delayed the projects for several years. It was not until the arrival of the new, democratically elected government under the the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that ILAC was able to begin implementation of the proposals from the assessment report.
In 2007, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia appointed ILAC to be part of an advisory committee to guide the establishment of a Judicial Training Institute for continued legal education of judges, prosecutors and lawyers. The James A.A. Pierre Judicial Institute was launched in June 2008. Over the course of the next three years, ILAC’s resident advisor was instrumental in assisting in the formation and operation of this very successful program. As part of this program, ILAC put together a manual for judges, which is now widely used. ILAC, the ABA and the Carter Center also arranged training sessions for prosecutors in the country-side.
In 2010, the Liberian Judicial Training Institute and ILAC initiated a pilot course for Liberian court reporters, which introduced methods to simplify and speed up the very slow and inefficient Liberian court procedures. The response was overwhelmingly positive with Circuit court judges now being able to handle 5-6 full trials during the same time they managed one trial before.