Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC)

Female lawyer boosts commission’s expertise

Lucy Mathew, 31, was formally welcomed back to office by CLRC management and staff on Friday, 15 May, after undertaking an intensive two year Master’s in Law and Development program at Melbourne University as part of the Australian government Scholarship Awards program which was supported by the Government of PNG.

CLRC Secretary, Dr. Mange Matui, congratulated her, saying he was looking forwarding to working with her as she has a lot to offer to CLRC and the country as far as the core business of reforming laws was concerned.

New office for CLRC

Since the establishment of the CLRC office in 2006, the CLRC has moved to a number of places; the last being the First Heritage Centre next to Holiday Inn.

Due to the state of the building, the CLRC was the last tenant to move for a major renovation.

They are now housed at the newly-built Parago building on Kumul Avenue, Waigani, next to the National Statistical Office building past Telikom Rumana.

Hela situation hinders law review exercise

The situation has forced the deferral of the consultation on the review of the election laws in the province last week.

The Constitutional and Law Reform Commission team was in the province to carry out consultations on the 28th and 29th of November. However, Chairman Robert Atiyafa said they were unable to do so because of the volatility of the situation on the ground.

Commission to record traditional customs

An agreement was signed on October 3rd between CLRC, the PNG Civil Identity Registry and Tewai-Siassi District Development Authority to record the customs of Tewai-Siassi.

The Judiciary over the past two years has been recording customs in Manus Province to develop underlying laws in the country that will later be incorporated into the country’s laws.

Recently the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission signed an MoU with the University of Papua New Guinea to engage 30 law students who will go home and record their customs during the Christmas break.

MP disappointed with leaders' attendance

Dr Kobby Bomareo, who was among the consultation team headed by Chairman and Henganofi MP, Robert Atiyafa, made this observation during the consultation in Lae, Morobe Province, last week.

In a statement, Dr Bomareo said: “Now when the consultation came to Morobe, I hardly see a national politician, we had only one who came last Thursday; no provincial politicians.

“These laws will affect you the leaders,” he said.

“Speaking as a Morobean politician, this is not good enough for me, this is not welcoming.”

Nationwide electoral review to be conducted

Constitutional and Law Reform Commission, in collaboration with key stakeholder agencies, will hold nationwide consultations around the country to review the Organic Law on National and Local-Level Government Elections and related electoral laws and systems.

There have been consistent observations of widespread electoral fraud and irregularities in the past four national general elections by independent observers and through Electoral Commission reports.

Churches join forces

Almost 50 leaders from 14 denominations in the Momase region have contributed to the development of a national church strategy to tackle sorcery accusation-related violence following a workshop in Lae by the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC).

CLRC Secretary Dr Eric Kwa has condemned sorcery accusation-related violence, saying it is usually directed against isolated and vulnerable people in the community, particularly women.