Organisation Internationale de Droit du Développement

South African judges support peers in Liberia

Rape is the second most commonly reported serious crime in Liberia, yet many survivors fail to get justice.

Speaking at the opening of an IDLO training workshop in Monrovia for over fifty judges and stipendiary magistrates, His Honor Francis S Korkpor Snr, Chief Justice of Liberia, warned that many of the country’s rape cases are settled out of court as the survivor’s family is compensated by the perpetrator, ultimately depriving survivors of the opportunity to get justice.

Chief Justice Korkpor explained that a key barrier to the prosecution of sexual and gender-based violence crimes is the lack of forensic evidence in most cases, resulting in many of those accused of rape being acquitted on technicalities for lack of evidence.

The training workshop in Monrovia is being conducted in partnership with the South African judiciary. The Hon. Justice Rammaka Steven Mathopo, Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa, and Judge Margaret Victor, Judge of the Gauteng High Court Division of South Africa, are providing peer training to Liberian judges on the handling of sexual and gender-based violence cases, including on dealing with forensic and expert evidence.

IDLO has been working in Liberia since September 2015 to increase accountability for sexual and gender-based violence by increasing the efficiency, transparency and effectiveness of the justice sector’s response.