By JEFFREY ELAPA
NATIONAL Court judge Justice David Canning says the judicial system is showing signs of wear and tear but it did not need huge sums of money to fix the problems.
“We need to identify the problem areas.
“Individuals in the system must do their job with drive, commitment and discipline.
“If lawyers attend court unprepared or are lazy, then the system will deteriorate and collapse,” he said in his address at the official opening of the Madang legal year in the Holy Spirit Cathedral on Saturday.
Justice Canning said: “If a person facing armed robbery charges is stuck in remand in Beon jail for three years without trial, then there is injustice. This example shows that the judicial system in Madang needs maintenance.
“The National Court has a total of 514 backlog cases with 86 accused on bail and 424 on bench warrants. This means we have 80% of the people waiting for trial.
“This is a major problem and we need to fix it. It can be fixed. We need to get the components of the judicial system working in harmony.
“We need to get them talking, communicating and sharing their problems and their solutions.
“We need to involve the churches more in the administration of justice,” he added.
Members of the legal fraternity that were present were senior provincial magistrate William Seneka and senior magistrate John Kaumi.
The Holy Spirit cathedral was packed to capacity by lawyers, national and district court officials, members of the police and Correctional Services, and officers from the Public Prosecutor and the Public Solicitor’s office.
After the mass, parish priest Fr Edward invited Justice Cannings together with the magistrates Seneka and Kaumi for the blessing.