Village court judge outlines challenges

National

By DEMAS TIEN
DESPITE the lack of attention from higher authorities to the village court system in the country, magistrate Allan Beata has been committed to his duties and responsibilities in the last 20 years.
Beata has been serving in Bereina in the Kairuku District of Central, often under trying conditions.
He has been a village court magistrate since 1997 and this is his 20th year.
Beata told The National last Friday that the greatest problems he and his court officials faced over the years were the lack of logistical support, awareness programmes
and workshops to train new officials.
He had been walking from his village to other villages to conduct village court sittings over issues such as land disputes.
He said the places that caused them the greatest difficulty to cover were Bereina, Waima and Oreke, especially in bad weather.
He said there was no permanent court house for the village court to use but the court officials have planned to build one themselves next year.
Most of the cases were dealt with through chiefdoms.
“We used chiefdoms and when we find it hard we bring the complainants and defendants to the police station or the court house.
“We know our village
court system and our customary laws.
“We have our village court stationeries like preventive orders, settlement orders and other court equipment but we don’t have a court house.

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