State lawyers’ failure to attend cases irks judge

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 19th September 2012

AN acting judge has advised government lawyers to be present when cases involving the state are called before the court.
Goroka-based acting judge Martin Ipang raised his concern when state lawyers from the Solicitor General’s office failed to attend to cases called before the National Court in Goroka.
“This is a cause for concern,” Ipang said.
He said when state lawyers failed to notify the courts on the status of their attendance it showed their lack of interest in defending the state.
“There is no respect and courtesy from the state lawyers having carriage of state cases to inform the court on the status of their attendance,” Ipang said.
“Their attitudes demonstrate lack of interest in diligently defending or perusing state cases.”
Solicitor General Neville Devete and his deputy (courts and regional offices) Lais Kandi were not available for comment yesterday.
Ipang said the closure of the regional office in Mt Hagen due to the non-payment of rental should not be used as an excuse.
“Alternate and appropriate relief arrangements should be in place to see state lawyers attend cases and deal with them where the state is involved,” he said.
An officer at the solicitor general’s office in Port Moresby yesterday said their regional office in Mt Hagen had already been re-opened.