Each House member represents an electoral district within a county. Each county is represented by two senators in the House of Senate. The House of Representatives is led by a speaker while the vice president serves as president of the Senate. The President pro-tempore presides over the senate in the absence of the vice president.
Liberia’s judicial system is controlled by the Supreme Court. It is made of five members headed by the Chief Justice. The judicial system is further divided into circuit courts, specialty courts, magistrate courts and justices of the peace courts. Supreme Court members and all judges are appointed by the president. The judicial system is patterned after the Anglo-American common law.
The government allows separate tribal and traditional courts that govern people of tribal origins. These courts deal mainly with issues concerning traditional and tribal laws. Paramount chief, clan chief, town chief, a tribal elder or a group of tribal elders often preside. Sanctioned by the government, trial by ordeal remains a common practice. The accused are often tortured to force confessions.
Each county is subdivided into districts. Each district is made up of chiefdoms. A chiefdom is made up of clans. A clan is made up of towns and villages. The administrator of a county is called superintendent who is appointed by the president. A district administrator is called commissioner who is also appointed by the president. A paramount chief administers a chiefdom, a clan chief administers a clan, and a town chief administers a town. Sometimes a group of towns and villages are merged under one chief for efficient administrative purposes. Such amalgamation is called a zone and the administrator is called zone chief. In some cases townships are created within a clan and are headed by a commissioner. A township commissioner is appointed by the president. A city is headed by a mayor. Constitutionally, all chieftaincy and mayoral positions are elected positions, but the current president has successfully argued that she should appoint them because of limited funding for elections, allowing her to wield huge political power in the country.