NACSUL Commends Pres. Boakai For Nominating Judge Ceaineh D. Clinton-Johnson As Associate Justice-Designate


The National Civil Society Union of Liberia (NACSUL) has welcomed and commend the nomination of Criminal Court “E” Judge, Ceaineh D. Clinton-Johnson, as Associate Justice-designate of the Supreme Court of Liberia.

Judge Clinton-Johnson was nominated on June 21, 2024 by President Joseph Nyuma Boakai as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Joseph Nagbe.

   In the wake of the nomination, NACSUL says, the nomination is in the right direction judging from the qualification and experience of the nominee.

   Against this backdrop, the Pro-democracy Group has called on the Liberian Senate to hold the Associate Justice-designate accountable based on her many years of acquired qualification and experience, especially her roles in the dispensation justice in Liberia.

   NACSUL further indicated that based on its research, the nominee possesses a master’s degree in law (2010), with concentration in Human Rights Law, from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Law, Philadelphia, United States of America; a bachelor’s degree in law (1988) from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia; a bachelor’s degree in Economics (1978-1982), Cuttington University College; a certificate of participation in International Humanitarian Law (2010), University of Pretoria, South Africa; and a two-year class participation at the Kofi Annan School of Conflict Transformation, University of Liberia.

   The group said, “With respect to the nominee’s judicial training, the Associate Justice-designate acquired extensive knowledge in Anti-Corruption Training for Judges, July 2022-Ghana, Alternative to Incarceration, May 2022-Tunisia, Specialized Training on Knowledge sharing, creating partnership and combating impunity toward gender-based violence with Women Justice Actors, December 2018-Kenya, and Specialized Training in Combating Terrorism and Cross borders crimes, May 2016-Egypt.

   “NACSUL also took into account the nominee’s experience in the judicial sector, which include, prior to her nomination, Resident Judge of the Sexual Offenses Court/Criminal Court ‘E’ (2008-2024), Consultant to do Country Report for ICRC For Liberia’s compliance to the International Humanitarian Law Treaties, (2009-2010), Teaching Assistant to Prof. Sarah Paoletti, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Human Rights Program (2009-2010), Assistant Professor of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia (2008). In other judicial assignments, the nominee also presided over Circuits of Counties as assigned by the Chief Justice, and worked in the formulation of the Code of Ethics for Judges in the Judicial Training Institute.

   “With respect to other areas of her experience, Judge Clinton-Johnson previously served as Deputy Minister for Administration and Public Safety/Deputy Attorney General, Ministry of Justice, 2006-2008; Gender Focused Person—established the special prosecution unit to strengthen sexual offenses prosecution; Co-Chair-National Gender Based Violence for Legal, security and protection sub-pillar under National Poverty Reduction Strategy, Director General, Liberia Industrial Property Office, 2005-2008, Chief Administrative Officer, Liberia Renewal Charity Organization, working for Charity and helping indigent women and children and ex-combatant, as well as Legal Counsel-Independent Elections Commission & Ad-hoc Election Commission, formulation of election law reforms for proportional representation and elections rules and regulations, 1994-1997, In-House Counsel, Liberia Air Transport, Inc, 1988-1990- and Deputy Commissioner, National Identification Card System –Ministry of Finance -1983-1985.

   “The Nominee has received is proud recipient of several honors for her dedicated services over the years, to include, Philadelphia Bar Association Award for Outstanding achievement in International and Human Rights Law by a Graduate Law Student, 2010, recipient of the Penn Human Rights Scholarship Penn Law LL.M. Program for the Class of 2009-2010 and Most Stimulating Teacher, Gbarnga School of Theology, 1994-1995. 

   “Judge Clinton-Johnson is a member of the Liberia National Bar Association, Organizing Member of the Association of Female Lawyers, Liberia Girls Guides Association and Member National Association of Trial Judges of Liberia amongst others.

   “Following her nomination, a Right Group took onto some media platforms to call on the President to revoke Judge Ceaineh D. Clinton-Johnson nomination as Associate Justice on the basic of accusation that her sitting on the High Court Bench will undermine the Establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court on the basis that she is the spouse of Cllr.  Lavala Koboi Johnson- former Justice Minister under the regime of exile President Charles G. Taylor, secondly the nominee is been accused of  pretrial detainees with court within and surrounding Montserrado County, something the Right Group accused her of denying rape suspects, 99 percent of whom are males access to justice due to her failure to have ably proceeded with the trial and conclusion of their matters, as Resident Circuit judge of the Criminal Court E, Montserrado County, hereby contributing highly to the now situation of the prison  been overcrowded, and must not be elevated for these wrong reasons.

   “In response to the accusations, NACSUL calls on the right group to redirect its efforts to meaningful contribution to the Liberian society rather than blindly accusing a stateswoman who have had impactful contributions in the Legal system, adding that the Nominee husband should be the one judge for his role as Justice Minister in the Taylor’s regime rather than her, and further called on the group to direct their argument to the nominee’s experience and qualification for the job.

   “On the accusation of pretrial detainees, it is unfortunate for a right group to accuse a Judge without indicating any law that was violated in the dispensation of Justice, as such NACSUL sees the accusation as propaganda by paid-agents who are been used to undermine the hard-earned reputation of the nominee.

   “As watchdog of the Liberian Society, we have followed and done a background check on Judge Ceaineh D. Clinton-Johnson which we cataloged above, therefore her nomination to the Supreme Court Bench is a blessing to the Country’s Legal system. We want to call on our Senators to confirm the third female to the Supreme Court Bench, which will be captured in the Country’s history for three females to serve at the same time on the High Court Bench” NACSUL added.

   As we prepare for the public hearing on Wednesday, July 10, 2024, we extend invitation to the critics of Judge Ceaineh D. Clinton-Johnson to be at the Senate’s confirmation, so as to be a part and witness the nominee presentation of her qualification, experience, and suitability for the job.”

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