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March 01, 2009

James A. A. Pierre Judicial Institute Graduates First Group of Liberian Trainers

March 2009

 Liberia’s recently launched judicial training institute—the James A. A. Pierre Judicial Institute—awarded certificates to 21 Liberian judges, magistrates and lawyers after they completed the institute’s first training course on instructional design and facilitation skills.

The training focused on developing course materials and training their peers in an interactive fashion. The skills and knowledge the trainees gained will help ensure they are able to design and teach courses that are relevant in the Liberian context. The group developed lessons for several courses, covering topics on court management, the role of magistrates, the art of judgeship and criminal law. Two of the courses will be piloted in May, 2009. The Judicial Federal Center’s facilitator, Barbara Anderson, who has taught similar courses to U.S., Argentine and Micronesian judges, conducted the training.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Pamela White and Associate Justice Francis S. Korkpor presented the certificates to graduates. Ms. White acknowledged the significant step made by the institute in developing its capacity to deliver training. She also stressed the need for all members of society, especially women and children, to have access to justice. Justice Korkpor addressed the need to better train Liberia’s judiciary, noting that the institute is now in a position to deliver quality programs.

The James A. A. Pierre Judicial Institute was established in January 2008 by the Supreme Court of Liberia. Its mandate is to train all judicial officers and court staff in the country. The Board of Governors, co-chaired by Associate Justice Kabineh M. Ja’neh and Counselor James E. Pierre, identified the training of 350 magistrates as an institutional priority for 2009. Training judges is one of the most direct ways to strengthen the Liberian justice system and to provide more equitable access to justice.
The institute is supported by the Liberian government and international partners, including USAID and its implementing partner, the ABA ROLI.

To learn more about our work in Liberia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.