Chief Justice of Liberia

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Chief Justice of Liberia
Coat of arms of Liberia.svg
Francis Korkpor, Sr.

since 2013
Appointer Presidential nomination with Senate confirmation
Term length 70 years of age
Inaugural holder Samuel Benedict
Formation Constitution of Liberia
26 July 1847
Coat of arms of Liberia.svg
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The Chief Justice of Liberia is the head of the judicial branch of the Government of the Republic of Liberia and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Appointment and term[edit]

Article 54(c) of the Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice is appointed by the President of Liberia and confirmed by the Senate. Per Article 68, eligibility for the position of Chief Justice requires that the candidate:

  • be a citizen of Liberia;
  • be of good moral character;
  • have been a counselor of the Supreme Court Bar for at least five years.

Article 71 states that the Chief Justice "shall hold their offices during good behavior." According to Article 72(b), the Chief Justice must retire from office upon reaching the age of 70, though he may remain on the Court long enough to render judgment or perform any judicial duties regarding matters he began addressing before reaching that age.


In addition to acting as head judge on the Supreme Court and managing all subordinate courts, the Constitution provides several duties to the Chief Justice. In the case of impeachment of the President or Vice President, Article 43 mandates that the Chief Justice preside over the trial in the Senate. Additionally, Article 53(a) requires the Chief Justice to swear in the President in front of a joint session of the Legislature.

Removal from office[edit]

The Chief Justice may be removed from office upon impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate. Article 71 of the Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice may only be removed in the event of "misconduct, gross breach of duty, inability to perform the functions of their office, or conviction in a court of law for treason, bribery or other infamous crimes." In the event of an impeachment trial of the Chief Justice in the Senate, the President of the Senate presides over the proceedings.

Only one Chief Justice, Chea Cheapoo, has been removed in this manner.

List of Chief Justices[edit]

Served as Chief Justice in extra-constitutional transitional government
§ Impeached and removed from office
No. Chief Justice Term of Office Nominated by President
1 Samuel Benedict
1847 - 1854
Joseph Jenkins Roberts
2 John Day
1854 - 1859
3 Boston Jenkins Drayton
1861 - 1864
Stephen Allen Benson
4 Edward James Roye
1865 - 1868
Daniel Bashiel Warner
5 C. L. Parsons
1869 - 1894
James Spriggs Payne
6 Zacharia B. Roberts
1895 - 1910
Joseph James Cheeseman
7 James A. Toliver
1911 - 1913
Arthur Barclay
8 J. J. Dossen
1913 - 1924
Daniel Edward Howard
9 F. E. R. Johnson
1924 - 1929
Charles D. B. King
10 Louis Arthur Grimes
1929 - 1949
Edwin Barclay
11 H. Nimine Russell
1949 - 1956
William Tubman
12 A. Dash Wilson
1958 - 1970
13 James A.A. Pierre
1971 - 1980
Emmanuel Gbalazeh
1980 - 1986
Samuel Doe
14 James N. Nagbe
1986 - 1987
15 Chea Cheapoo§
16 Emmanuel Gbalazeh
1988 - 1990
James G. Bull
1992 - 1996
Amos Sawyer
Frances Johnson-Morris
1996 - 1997
Ruth Perry
17 Gloria Musu-Scott
1997 - 2003
Charles Taylor
Henry Reed Cooper
2003 - 2006
Transitional Government of Liberia
18 Johnnie N. Lewis 2006–2012 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
19 Francis S. Korkpor, Sr. 2013– Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


External links[edit]