Monrovia, Liberia-The President of Liberia Dr. George M. Weah and members of his cabinet have described the ruling and judgement of the Supreme Court of Liberia (SCOL) to nullify section 22.1 and 22.2 of the Alien and Nationality Law as “momentous.” The decision delivered on December 23, 2019 decided that Title 4 of the Liberian Code of Law Review, approved May 15, 1973 and published is “unconstitutional”.
Before the final announcement of its nullification, section 22.1 and 22.2 of the Alien and Nationality Law greatly infringed on the constitutional rights and liberties of all Liberians by allowing for the automatic removal and denial of citizenship to any Liberian who acquired nationality in another country.
The high court’s decision by all measures is a political win for George Weah’s Administration as it is in fulfilment of the long-held desire of the President to ensure Liberians of all persuasions, who left the country due to the civil war, are not deprived of their constitutional rights and privileges in the land they were born and regard as the motherland.
In a letter dated September 22, 2021, the Minister of Justice, Frank Musa Dean, officially notified the Dean of the Cabinet, Foreign Minister D. Maxwell Kemayah, of the Supreme Court’s ruling. In the letter, Minister of Justice requests the Dean of the Cabinet to ensure that the implementors of the Revised Regulation governing the administration and insurance of Liberian Passports “take due note”.
According to the New Dawn, the Minister also stressed that henceforth a Liberian by birth who obtains naturalisation in a foreign country will only forfeit his Liberian citizenship as a result of a “due process” of law.
It can be recalled that despite the objection of some politicians, the Weah Administration introduced a set of proposals – including the call for dual citizenship – at the 2020 national referendum. The President also made a similar plea to the National Legislature during his first address to that body in 2018. By this decision, therefore, all Liberians remain Liberians unless divested of their citizenship by order or judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.