The National, Friday March 7th, 2014
PLANS are afoot for a major reorganisation of the judicial sector (courts) in Papua New Guinea, Secretary for Justice Dr Lawrence Kalinoe says.
Kalinoe, who officially launched the Magisterial Services corporate plan (2014-15), revealed that a state legal team from the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General would work on the legal and administrative processes aimed at restructuring the courts.
“The process of restructuring the courts in Papua New Guinea will commence this weekend, after which, the state legal team will formally convey what the attorney general’s thinking in writing to the chief justice and chief magistrate,” he said.
He said Attorney-General and Justice Minister Kerenga Kua was spearheading the reorganisation to ensure easy accessibility to justice services by the majority of people, particularly those in remote parts of the country.
Kalinoe said the presence of the district courts in some of these areas had always been difficult to maintain but by having a magistrate in a district brought authority and respect for the rule of law.
He told Chief Magistrate Nerrie Eliakim and senior provincial magistrates attending the week-long conference that their presence was critical for the judicial sector to discharge their constitutional responsibilities to provide “a just, safe and secure society for all”.
“The event today is a significant one. I want to issue a challenge to the chief magistrate and your team that you translate this into realization. We want to witness the realisation of the dreams and aspirations you have in this corporate plan,” Kalinoe said.
He added: “We have made some progress and we must build on those. We have come a long way now and some parts of the country are much better now than they were before.”
Eliakim said the corporate plan would contribute to a just and fair country.