Ellen Receives CRC Final Report on the NCC

first_imgThe Constitution Review Committee (CRC) has presented its final report on the National Constitution Conference (NCC) also containing recommendations to amend the Constitution of Liberia as well as several CDs of the 1986 Liberian Constitution in the 16 local vernaculars to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. During a formal presentation ceremony at the office of the President, the Chairperson of the CRC, Cllr. Gloria Musu Scott, on behalf of her colleagues, thanked President Sirleaf for the confidence reposed in them to perform the task and for the opportunity provided them to form part of such an historic national project.“Madam President, thank you for this opportunity to formally present to you the report from the National Constitution Conference,” Cllr. Scott said.She catalogued the President’s mandate given the Committee and the process they embarked on over three years to reach this point. Cllr. Scott reported the excellent cooperation from ex-officio members, the Governance Commission (GC), Law Reform Commission (LRC) and partners that strengthened them particularly providing financial, technical and moral support during the process. “Their vast experience and knowledge were at our disposal, and we have now reached this point,” she indicated.The CRC Chairperson expressed special thanks to all Liberians and emphasized that citizens’ participation in this review process was significant most especially for their direct participation and through their delegates during the formal and informal consultative phase in the 73 electoral districts of Liberia, and the National Constitution Conference held in Gbarnga, Bong County, from March 29 to April 2, 2015. She praised the partners who contributed immensely to make the process a success. “United Nations Development Program (UNDP) provided initial seed money; United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) provided technical assistance from New York, helicopter services, UNMIL Radio; USAID significantly contributed to the National Constitution Conference, while United Nations Peace-Building Fund (UNPBF), among other partners, provided additional assistance,” she pointed out.Cllr. Scott also highlighted the contribution of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) and the Liberian Women Democracy Radio that provided their media outlets “free of charge” for the dissemination of information to the Liberian public.In response, President Sirleaf thanked the CRC for the work. She also thanked the partners for the support they provided the CRC in executing its mandate.In 1847, the President said, the Constitution to a large extent reflected the circumstances and desires of the settler class. She said recognizing that circumstances had changed, one needed to add more in terms of equal opportunity, equity and recognition of the role of the population; thus a new Constitution came into effect in 1986 reflecting new circumstances of the country.President Sirleaf stressed that that Constitution remained with a few amendments in 2011 to ensure that the country’s political process remain intact.Starting in 2012, the Liberian leader continued, under the chairmanship of the GC and a committee formed under the “National Vision 2030,” there were consultations all over the country to form that National Vision. “That consultation indicated that the Liberian people wanted more than what the 1986 Constitution contained,” she emphasized, adding, “They wanted to see some revisions in some of those provisions; they wanted to ensure that certain equity and participation of the people were pronounced than what the 1986 Constitution provided and so those consultations formed the basis for starting that process of amendments to the Constitution,” she outlined, expounding further on the CRC’s mandate.President Sirleaf clearly stated that the Constitution stipulates that it is the National Legislature that determines what kind of constitutional amendments are made; but noted that as a result of the consultations in the CRC exercise, the document will pass through her, before being conveyed to them.Now that the CRC has presented to President Sirleaf for consideration the NCC report also containing recommendations to amend the Constitution of Liberia, it is anticipated that thereafter, the Liberian leader will make a presentation to the National Legislature for its due consideration.In the event of approval of the proposals for amendment by two thirds of the duly seated members of both Houses of the National Legislature, the approved proposals will be published in an Official Gazette for public consumption and understanding.The Constitution mandates that this public education be conducted for a minimum of 12 months prior to the holding of a referendum. Proposals receiving the approval of two thirds of the voters voting in the referendum shall then become amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.Liberia embarked upon the Constitution review process in August 2012 as part of its national reconciliation by setting up the CRC based on the recommendations from the Governance Commission (GC). To organize and lead this process, President Sirleaf established the CRC which eventually consisted of six eminent citizens as members; and two Ex-officio Members, Chairman of the GC and the Chairperson of the Law Reform Commission (LRC). This review process is intended to form part of addressing Liberia’s governance pitfalls and consequently engender reconciliation.Present at the presentation ceremony were partners including the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps, Guinean Ambassador, H. E. Abdoulaye Dore; Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Mission in Liberia, Mr. Antonio Vigilante, European Union Ambassador to Liberia, H. E. Tiina Intelmann; a representative of the United States Agency for International Development; Co-Chair of the National Elections Commission, Cllr. Sarah Toe; Chairperson of the Civil Society Organizations of Liberia, Mrs. Frances Greaves; Ex-Officio Members: Chairman of the Governance Commission, Dr. Amos Sawyer; and Cllr. Deway Gray, representing the Law Reform Commission.Others were representatives of political parties, the Chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders, Mr. Zanzan Karwor; among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Deals in Simpson case could cut 2 ways

first_imgThat would contradict Simpson’s claim that no guns were involved when he went to retrieve items he said belonged to him. McClinton, whose lawyer said he worked as a security guard and had a concealed weapons permit, wielded a gun and acted like a police officer when Simpson and the others allegedly robbed collectibles dealers Bruce Fromong and Alfred Beardsley, according to police reports. Authorities say memorabilia taken included football game balls signed by Simpson, Joe Montana lithographs, baseballs autographed by Pete Rose and Duke Snider, photos of Simpson with the Heisman Trophy, and framed awards and plaques, together valued at as much as $100,000, according to police reports. New York defense lawyer Michael Shapiro called Clark County District Attorney David Roger’s offers of plea deals and immunity “a standard way of building your case.” “Ultimately, it will come down to whether a jury will believe witnesses who have cut deals to testify,” said Shapiro, who provided television commentary during the trial that led to Simpson’s acquittal in the 1994 murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. “As a defense lawyer, I say, `Folks, are you willing to bet your life, to bet your childrens’ life, to make the most important decision you’ll ever have to make, based on what these people have to say?”‘ McClinton’s agreement to enter a plea was not a surprise, said Simpson lawyer Yale Galanter, who said he believed McClinton will be the final cooperating witness. “What this comes down to is the real bad guys are pointing a finger at O.J., and the prosecution is giving away the courthouse to try to shore up their case,” Galanter told The Associated Press. “We look forward to cross-examining these witnesses at the preliminary hearing next week.” Simpson and co-defendants Clarence Stewart and Charles Ehrlich each face 12 criminal charges in the preliminary hearing beginning Nov. 8. The charges includekidnapping, armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy. A kidnapping conviction alone could result in a sentence of life in prison with parole. The stiffest sentence faced by any of the three co-defendants who have accepted pleas is 11 years. They all could receive probation after testifying. Tom Pitaro, a Las Vegas defense lawyer who teaches trial advocacy at the Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, called the disparity between the charges against Simpson and the charges in the plea deals a possible problem for prosecutors. “It’s big for the prosecution to get insiders to say they committed a crime and that they committed it with him,” Pitaro said. “But (prosecutors) have to get the jury to buy into the fairness. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! COURTS: Experts say prosecutors are taking a calculated risk with case’s co-defendants. By Ken Ritter The Associated Press LAS VEGAS – Cutting deals with co-defendants to testify against O.J. Simpson could undercut prosecutors if they ever need to convince a jury the aging football star is guilty of serious crimes, legal experts said Monday. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.But that could happen only if the case makes it past a preliminary hearing next week before a judge whose main concern will be what the evidence is rather than where it came from. “This is a basic prosecution tactic that is very effective,” said Jody Armour, a criminal law professor at USC, after a third Simpson co-defendant told a judge Monday that he’ll plead guilty to lesser charges and testify for the prosecution. “But it has vulnerabilities,” he said. “Its greatest weakness is that the jury is going to hear from the defense that the only reason they’re testifying is because they cut a deal that can benefit them.” “Even if they don’t hear the words `quid pro quo,’ it’s understood,” Armour said. The star witness might be Michael McClinton, 49, of Las Vegas, whose lawyer said he can testify that Simpson asked him to bring guns to the confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel. last_img