His Honor Justice Philip A. Z. Banks, III obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree (Cum Laude), in Sociology and Economics from the University of Liberia, in 1971 and enrolled into the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia where he earned his LLB degree (Magnum Cum Laude), General Law (with emphasis on business, criminal and constitutional related areas), in 1974.
Justice Banks thereafter gained admission into the Yale Law School, United States of America, where he obtained his LLM degree in Corporations and International Law, graduating with honors in 1976. In 1978, he obtained a certificate in International Humanitarian Law and subsequently was a Visiting Scholar at the Yale Law School, United States of America in 1990.
PUBLIC & PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
Associate Justice Philip A. Z. Banks, III is an accomplished and dedicated public servant who has served extensively in public and professional capacities both in the Liberian public and private sectors. Some highlights of his public and professional services to this nation are as follows:
- Law Clerk Supreme Court of Liberia (1973 – 1974).
- Legal Counsel Ministry of Lands and Mines (1974 –1975).
- Associate and Managing Director: Morgan Grimes and Harmon Law Firm (1976 – 1980).
- Between 1976 and 1984, Justice Banks offered his services in education by serving in the following areas:
- Assistant Professor of Law: Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law where he taught multiple courses in corporation law, international law, torts, insurance law, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law.
- Visiting Professor of Business Law: College of Business and Public Administration.
- Visiting Professor of Mass Communications: Department of Mass Communications, Liberia College.
- Visiting Professor of International Law: IBB Graduate School of International Relations University of Liberia.
- Founder and Managing Partner; Banks Lewis and Williams Associates (1980 – 1984).
- Director of Research and Legal Department: National Constitution Commission (1982 – 1984).
- Dean: Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia (1983 – 1984).
- Senior Partner, Tubman Law Firm (1984 – 1990).
- Legal Advisor: Civic Society Organizations (1984 – 1990).
- Arbitrator designate by the Republic of Liberia: International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (1984 – 1990).
- Minister of Justice and Attorney General: Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU), RL (1990 – 1994).
- Member, Council of State: Liberia National Transitional Government (1994 – 1995).
- Chief Executive Officer and Lead Supervising Editor: Liberia Law Experts, Inc. (1996 – 2002).
- Governance Consultant: African Development Bank (2001 – 2002).
- Legal Advisor, Vice Chairman and Consultant: Liberia Institute for Peace Democracy and Good Governance (2003 – 2008).
- Legal Advisor on peace, legal reform and reconciliation: All Liberian National Conference (2004 – 2006).
- Project Consultant: United States Institute of Peace (2004 – 2005).
- Legal consultant: Governance Reform Commission (Liberia) (2006 – 2007).
- Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Republic of Liberia (2007 – 2008).
- Chairman: Law Reform Commission, Republic of Liberia (2008 – 2010)
His Honor Justice Philip A. Z. Banks, III was nominated, confirmed and appointed to the Honorable Supreme Court Bench as Associate Justice in 2010. A position he continues to serve with loyalty, dedication and patriotism.
PROFESSIONAL & SOCIAL AFFILIATION
His Honor Justice Banks has affiliated with various professional organizations to include being the Chairman, Project Director and Supervising and Lead Editor of the Liberia Law Project, Inc., a group he Co-founded in 2007, amongst others.
Associate Justice Philip A. Z. Banks, III is also an accomplished writer and publisher with numerous literary works to his credit. Some of his published and unpublished works include:
Lead Editor, Liberia Law Reports, Vol. 42, covering Opinions of the Supreme Court of Liberia for the March and October Terms, 2004, published 2010.
The Liberia Legal System – A Concept Paper on Liberia’s Current Legal System, An examination of its weaknesses and Challenges and the Prospects for Reform (2006/2007).
Liberia: Challenges for the Future (2005)
The Liberian Elections Commission and the Challenge of the Citizenship Issue (2005)
The Legal Rights of Seamen Aboard Liberian Vessels (with John W. deGravelles) (2004)
Liberia: Constitutional and Governance Challenges for the New Transitional Government (2003)
Judicial Ethics, Corruption and Accountability”, published and presented to Conference on Law Justice and Development, organized by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (February 2003)
Liberian Law Reports (12 volumes, a publication which he chaired), a complete editing and indexing of the Liberian Supreme Court Opinions for the period 1979-1999 (2001-2002). He also edited and published Volumes 40 (covering period 2000-2001) and 41 (2002-2003).
Liberian Revised Codes (5 volumes, titles 3-28) (2000), revised (2005/2006), as Lead Editor.
Liberia: World Corporate Domicile: Treatise, Statutes, Cases and Legal Materials, a comparative study of corporate, commercial and business laws. (3 volumes, 1998, in association with Cllr. Seward Cooper.
The History of Labour, Slave Labour and the Rise of Labour Unions in Liberia (1984)
The Independence of the Judiciary in an African Society: The Liberian Experience (1982).
The History of the Liberian Judiciary (1974) – presentation for the Supreme Court of Liberia (1974)
Other completed project works:
“A Blueprint for the Training of Judges: The Constitutional Framework.” (2003)
“The Liberia Judicial and Legal System: Assessment and Proposal for Reform.” (2003)
“The Establishment of a Legal Aid Clinic: A Mechanism in Constitutionalism.” (2003)
“The Establishment of a Human Rights Institute: A Constitutional Fulfillment.” (2004)
The Liberian Judiciary: Challenges for the Future (2004)
“Liberia and the Rule of Law.” (2004)
Formal and Informal Systems of Law in Post Conflict Societies: The Liberian Experience (2004/2005).
ACADEMIC HONORS: SCHOLARSHIPS, PRIZES & FELLOWSHIPS
American Society of International Law
1974 – Third Runner-Up Award for Best Oral Arguments from more than one hundred participants in Philip P. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
Yale Law School
August 1975 – June 1976: Fellowship for the Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program
University of Liberia
1981 – University of Liberia Professor of the Year Award, for scholarship, analytical approach to and resolution of complex national and international issues.
New Democrat Newspaper
1993 – Leader of the Year Award
Associate Justice Philip A.Z. Banks. III has Judicial oversight over:
Bomi County is the home of the 11th Judicial Circuit which sits on criminal, civil and probate matters and is housed in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Building. The 11th Judicial Circuit has three (3) specialized Courts and oversees the functions of a total of two (2) magisterial courts located across the county. Readmore….
Gbarpolu County is the home of the 16th Judicial Circuit which sits on criminal and civil matters and is housed in the Judicial Complex in Bopolu City. The 16th Judicial Circuit has three (3) specialized courts and oversees the functions a total of four (4) magisterial courts located across the county. Readmore…..
Grand Cape Mount County is the home of the 5th Judicial Circuit which sits on criminal, civil and probate matters and is housed in the Ministry of Internal Affairs Building. The 5th Judicial Circuit has three (3) specialized Courts and oversees the functions of a total of five (5) magisterial courts located across the county. Readmore….