COMMUNITY welfare officers may prosecute civil matters in court, according to Goroka senior district court magistrate Frank Manue.
“Section 59 of the District Court Act allows community welfare officers to prosecute cases in the district court,” he told 18 community development officers who completed a one-week para-legal course in Goroka last Friday.
He, however, said during his 14 years in Goroka he saw only one civil case successfully prosecuted by current Eastern Highlands provincial community development adviser Vegu Javano.
Mr Manue commended the Community Justice Liaison Unit (CJLU) and Individual Community Rights Advocacy Forum (ICRAF) and Eastern Highlands Community Development for training the officers.
He said the trained officers would help cases to be properly prosecuted.
Steven Tiao, from Henganofi district who spoke on behalf of the officers, said people lacked knowledge of court processes that they become frustrated when they were not represented properly in court.