Liberia : Judge Endorses FGM, Says It’s No Way A Violation

By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.

Amidst all the sensitization and awareness campaign against the practice of female genital mutilation, Criminal Court E judge-designate, Cllr. Serena Garlawolu says FGM is in no way a violation in the country.


Cllr. Garlawolu said that every country has its own cultural practices and as such she does not see the practice of the FGM as a violation of rights on those who have been affected by the process.

“FGM is not a violation of anyone’s rights culturally, but I think there should be rules and regulations that should govern the process because if it is a culture that we want to maintain, then people should be able to reach a matured age of consent,” Cllr. Garlawolu stressed.

She made the assertion Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at the Capitol Building when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Claims and Petition for confirmation hearing.

The Criminal Court E judge-designate also frown at the way in which the country’s rape law is being crafted, stating that there is no chance for preliminary investigations when the act is being allegedly carried out.

Though Cllr. Garlawolu intoned that she alone cannot change the law that has already being enacted, but she voiced that not all that are legal are expedient, like within the case of rape which does not allow preliminary inquiries.

“Because there is no preliminary examination whenever, a person is accused of rape, the accused will have to go to jail until an indictment is drawn up, but if there is a law on our books which calls for the preliminary examination, whenever a person is accused of rape it will be established whether or not this person committed the act. But, what can I alone do, even though some times what is legal is not expedient,” Cllr. Garlawolu stressed.

She, however stressed that the rehabilitation aspect of the criminal justice system of the country should be functional and up to date because according to her it would help transform criminals in the society.


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