The National, Monday 18th February, 2013
By ADRIAN MATHIAS
IT was a proud day for East New Britain when Nerrie Eliakim became the country’s first female chief magistrate.
Eliakim, who turns 39 next month, also became the youngest person to hold the post after she was sworn in at a function in Port Moresby last Friday.
Eliakim signed the requrements for her position before Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia during a brief ceremony at the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) conference room at Waigani.
Her mother Lydia Eliakim flew in from Rabaul to attend the ceremony which was witnessed by a small but significant gathering including immediate family members and magistrates such as Cosmas Bidar, Rosie Johnson and magisterial services staff.
The Judicial Law Reform Commission (JLRC) made Eliakim acting chief magistrate last May and confirmed her full appointment on Feb 1.
Eliakim said her aim in the challenging role was to administer and deliver justice for the people within a reasonable time.
“Our main function is about delivering justice but I will ensure justice is delivered within reasonable time,” Eliakim told The National.
She said she was appointed magistrate in 2007 after doing private practice.
She worked as the magistrate for the Family and Juvenile Courts in 2008 and moved to Boroko District Court in 2009 until her appointment as acting chief magistrate last May.
The mother of three will head more than 600 staff within the magisterial services, including 86 magistrates throughout the country.
She said the support she had received from magistrates, registry clerks and other staff members since May had brought a lot of positive changes such as the building of new court complexes in Alotau, Milne Bay (opened) and Kavieng, New Ireland.