Renowned human rights lawyer Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe has warned the Chief Judge of the Commercial Court Eva Mappy-Morgan to desist from arresting and jailing lawyers performing legal services as her action violates the 1986 Constitution and several opinions of the Supreme Court.
The judge has the history of jailing lawyers for not less than 30 days and has in recent days been pushing to jail the rights activist and lawyers because his client granted an interview about a case she is accused of delaying its verdict.
Cllr. Gongloe reminded Judge Morgan on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, that the legal profession is one of the professions protected by the Constitution (Article 21 (i)) wherein a lawyer cannot be punished based on the action/inaction of his client.
The rights lawyer noted that even the Supreme Court, the highest decision-making court in the country, has punished lawyers with worst ethical violation by fine, suspension and disbarment but not a jail sentence.
According to him, the incarceration of a lawyer makes him totally irrelevant to his client and makes the legal profession immaterial to the public. He added that people depend on lawyers as a source of protection of their Liberty.
Cllr. Gongloe warning comes after he and his associates (lawyers) Philip Gongloe and Momolu Kandakai were arrested and detained within the Commercial Court for several hours Tuesday on contempt charges.
He then implored the judge to purge the contempt charges against them, order their release and restore their rights to enable them to practice the legal profession as lawyers and citizens of Liberia.
Judge Mappy-Morgan released the detained lawyers based on pleads made by several senior lawyers of the Supreme Court bar.
Writes P. Nas Mulbah