The House’s decision was based on a communication read in Plenary yesterday during a regular Thursday session sent by the President, requesting the kind and timely enactment into law by the Legislation.
According to the communication, the purpose for the Act is to repeal the following sections mentioned above of the Penal Laws that have a tendency of making Liberian non-compliant.
“Liberia in anticipation of fully adhering to these legal instruments enacted the Freedom of Information Commission. However, there appears to be challenges in the full implementation as section 11.11: Criminal libel against the President, Section 11. 12: Sedition; and Section 11. 14: Criminal malevolence of the penal laws of Liberia tends to impede freedom of speech and expression, and acts committed thereof are considered to be criminal”, the communication noted.
In view of the above, the passage into law this Legislation that repeals these sections, will provide for press protection as far as the constitution and other international treaties to which Liberia is a signatory to are concerned.
“Mr. Speaker, Chapter III, Article 15 of the Liberian Constitution provides for freedom of speech and expression and a caveat of an abuse thereof. Additionally, Liberia is a signatory to the declaration of Table Mountain which demands that African counties abolish insult and criminal defamation laws”, the communication stated.