Judiciary

Chapter VII: The Judiciary

Article 65

The Judicial Power of the Republic shall be vested in a Supreme Court and such subordinate courts as the legislature may from time to time establish. The courts shall apply both statutory and customary laws in accordance with the standards enacted by the Legislature. Judgements of the Supreme Court shall be final and binding and shall not be subject to appeal or review by any other branch of Government. Nothing in this Article shall prohibit administrative consideration of the Justiciable matter prior to review by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Article 67

The Supreme Court shall comprise of one Chief Justice and four Associate Justice, a majority of whom shall be deemed competent to transact the business of the Court. It a quorum is not obtained to enable the Court to hear any case, a circuit judge in the order of seniority shall sit as an ad hoc justice of the Supreme Court.

Liberia applies both statutory and customary laws. They coexist in Liberia. The legislators enact statutory laws. The customary laws are tribal customs, cultural or traditional practices. Local paramount chiefs, clan chiefs or town chiefs apply customary laws to judge marriage disputes, inheritance and land ownership rights cases, robberies and perfidies to a clan, to name a few examples. Customary laws, however, are practiced under the Ministry of Internal Affairs jurisdiction. These seem to fuse the power structure and checks and balance system between the executive and the judicial branch.

There are magistrate courts and 16 Circuit Courts in Liberia. Except for Montserrado county that has the first and sixth Circuit Courts, there is one Circuit Court in each county. There are also specialized courts including Debt Court, Probate Court, Tax Court, Traffic Court, Juvenile Court, and commercial court.
Circuit court is a jury trial court. A jury is a group of people selected according to law and given the power to decide questions of fact and return a verdict in the case submitted to them. A Justice of the Peace Court is a local judicial officer having jurisdiction over minor criminal offenses and minor civil disputes.  Magistrate’s court has limited authority over small criminal and civil matters. Juvenile court has jurisdiction over cases involving children under 18 years old.

First Judicial Court Montserrado County
Second Judicial Circuit Court Grand Bassa County
Third Judicial Circuit Court Sinoe County
Fouth Judicial Circuit Court Maryland County
Fifth Judicial Circuit Court Grand Cape Mount County
Six Judicial Circuit Court Montserrado County
Seventh Judicial Circuit Court Grand Gedeh County
Eight Judicial Circuit Court Nimba County
Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Bong County
Tenth Judicial Circuit Court Lofa County
Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court Bomi County
Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court Grand Kru County
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court Marghibi County
Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Court Rivercess County
Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court River Gee County
Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court Gbarpolu County
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