Judicial service better than a lot of countries: Cannings

National

Justice David Cannings says people appearing in court in PNG generally do not have as much problems as far as defence is concerned as those in other countries.
Speaking at a Pacific Judicial Conference in Port Moresby last Thursday, Cannings said PNG had done well by assessing each case on its merits.
“The public solicitor exists to provide legal aid, advice and assistance to those in need,” Cannings said in his paper on unrepresented litigants.
“The court can direct the public solicitor to provide legal aid, advise and assist under section 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution.
“In fact, we already have a programme in place for unrepresented prisoner litigants – officers of NJSS (National Judicial Staff and Services) prepare their appeal books free of charge.”
But Cannings said it was of benefit to the court to have a litigant in person assisting in some way.
“A litigant might for any number of good reasons be appearing in person,” Cannings said.
“They must have equal access to justice as those litigants who have legal representation.”
Cannings said a litigant might be without legal representation because he or she could not afford a lawyer, could not find a lawyer willing to appear for them, was refused legal aid ot wanted to represent himself or herself.

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