The National, Friday October 18th, 2013
AFTER 38 years of independence, the development of the Underlying Law is incomplete, fragmented and scattered in many cases, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia says.
During the development of the Underlying Law (UL) conference organised by the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission in Port Moresby, Sir Salamo said a more realistic assessment of the court’s performance in the development of underlying law, or the customary law, could be more timely when Papua New Guinea reached its first 50 years.
However, he said with passing time, key players and stakeholders should play their part in the development of Underlying Law and do it better as it required vision, passion and the tenacity to get the job done.
Sir Salamo said the courts required the support of key players to effectively discharge this function.
He said in order to facilitate effective performances, the law’s development requires a sound legislative statutory framework to guide the courts, as the Constitution, the Underlying Law Act 2000 and the National Court Underlying Law rules 2011 provided a sound and comprehensive framework.
“Another area that requires action is codification of custom,” he said.
“While common law remains un-codified, PNG can take a different approach and codify custom because Section 16 (2) (iii) of the underlying Act permits codification as it has huge benefit and preserves the customary laws of particular society and brings certainty to customary law.
“It is a reference material on customary law for the courts’ use in developing UL.”