The National, Tuesday 12th February, 2013
By ADRIAN MATHIAS
SENIOR lawyer Goodwin Poole has been appointed a judge of the National and Supreme Courts for 12 months, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) announced yesterday.
Poole, 71, from Roma in Queensland, Australia, was appointed at the JLSC meeting on Feb 1, which also reappointed Justice Elenas Batari for another 10-year term.
The JLSC said the maximum number of judges was 23, excluding the chief justice, deputy chief justice and acting judges.
“The judiciary’s current permanent judges’ strength is 22.
“The remaining vacancy is now being filled with the appointment of Poole,” it said.
The JLSC said Poole had spent 15 of his 35 years in practice in PNG in the public and private bars.
“In his (Poole) time in PNG, Mr Poole has trained and supervised many young lawyers and he is actively involved in legal and ethics programmes with the PNG Law Society and has extensive legal practice experience, that is most relevant to the work of the judiciary.”
Justice Minister Kerenga Kua said the increase in the number of judges would ease the workload of the judges and expedite the backlog of cases in the National and Supreme courts.
“Poole’s appointment and that of Justice Batari were necessary to enable the national judicial system to work more effectively and efficiently,” Kua said.
“Being mindful of the enormous demands and responsibilities of such high office, I am confident that their years of practice have adequately prepared them for the office of a judge of our superior courts.”
He said due to the insufficient number of judges and the huge backlog of cases, he was confident the appointment of Poole would help relieve the accumulation of cases and expedite the disposition of pending and new cases.
Kua also announced the reappointment of Ian Augerea as the registrar of the National and Supreme Courts for another term of three years.