The National – Monday, June 27, 2011
By SAMUEL RAITANO
CHANGES have been made to the way human rights laws in Papua New Guinea are being administered.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia said the reforms should assist in the enforcement of human rights guaranteed by the constitution, providing easier access to justice and improving the delivery of justice.
The human tights track of the National Court has been established to enable lawyers, their clients and the public to follow the progress of human rights cases dealt with in the national judicial system.
The human rights rules will come into effect on Wednesday.
Also from that date, there will be a human rights list in the National Court registry.
The human rights rules was launched last Friday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Port Moresby.
Sir Salamo said that the declaration of basic human rights and freedom of every person was one of the main pillars of PNG’s constitutional democracy.
He said the National Court and the Supreme Court were vested with the duty to protect the rights of every person in the country.
In the early 1990s, the courts under the leadership of Sir Buri Kidu introduced human rights application forms to enable aggrieved persons to bring up cases.
More than 400 of these cases remain pending to this day.
Sir Salamo said this was because of the lack of court rules to guide and give effect to human rights hearings and the lack of capacity in terms of resources to deal with the cases effectively.
He said the human rights rules would make it easier and simpler to begin proceedings in court.
It also categorises and gives a separate priority to cases and makes it easier for judges and court officials to manage human rights matters.
It also grants liberal and easy access to the people to seek redress in the courts.