Four join higher court benches

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 3, 2011

THE swearing-in of four new National and Supreme Court judges yesterday came with the announcement of two new provinces on the judiciary’s list to locate permanent resident judges.
Permanent resident judges will be stationed in Chimbu and the Southern Highlands.
The new judges were sworn in by acting Governor-General Sir Salamo Injia, bringing the total number of PNG judges to 27, one short of this year’s funded judicial positions of 28 judges. Of the total, 22 were permanent judges with the remaining in acting capacities.
The new judges, appointed on March 10 by the Judicial and Legal Service Commission, included Mekeo Gauli, Martin Ipang, Lawrence Kangwia and David Maliku. All were senior magistrates and will now act for 12 months.
Acting Chief Justice Gibbs Salika yesterday released details of postings of all the new judges appointed early this year. They included permanent judges Stephen Kassman and Jacinta Murray; and acting judge Royale Thompson. 
Salika said Kassman would be posted to Mendi in Southern Highlands as resident judge while Kangwia would be stationed in Chimbu’s Kundiawa town.
Murray had been posted to Mt Hagen, bringing the total number of resident judges in the Western Highlands’ capital to three, teaming up with justices Allen David and Colin Makail.
Gauli will serve Wabag in Enga.
Ipang, who had been magistrate in Goroka for the last four years, would continue there as resident judge assisting Justice Joseph Yagi.
“The increase in case workload in Eastern Highlands has prompted the judiciary to increase the number of judges to two,” Salika said yesterday.
Maliku will be posted to Kokopo to assist resident judge Justice Salatiel Lenalia.