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Honorable Justice Philip Banks Dissenting Opinion: CoC

Today I have, as I believe have most Liberians, shared tears for Liberia, for by the decision of the majority colleagues of this Court, some of the most sacred rights of the people and the most sacred provision of the Liberia Constitution have been shredded and placed into a waste vent, and by the Act the Constitution has been turned upside down on its head.

This is the second time that a challenge has been mounted in this Court to certain of the provisions of the “Act of Legislature Prescribing A National Code Of Conduct For All Public Officials and Employees of The Government Of The Republic Of Liberia” enacted in 2014 by the Legislature, duly approved by the President of Liberia and published into handbill, giving it the full force of law. In the first action, a petition for declaratory judgment was filed on August 5, 2014 in the Circuit Court for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Montserrado County, by Citizen Solidarity Council, a duly incorporated and registered Liberian entity authorized to engage in political and other fundamental rights advocacy, against the Government of Liberia. The petitioner, for reasons stated in the petition, sought a declaration of unconstitutionality from the court in respect to sections 5.1 and 5.2 of the Code of Conduct Act of 2014.  The matter, having in the same year been certified to the Supreme Court for a resolution of the issue, this Court, on June 27, 2016, by a vote of 3 to 2, declared that the petitioner lacked standing to mount the constitutional challenge to the Act. In that case, my honored Colleague, Madam Justice Wolokolie, and I, dissented, feeling strongly that not only was the majority of the Court in error but that the decision posed a grave threat to our new found democracy of the Liberian people. continue reading link

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