Chief Justice of Liberia

Chief Justice of Liberia
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
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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

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:

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

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

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§ 1987
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–present


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