127 lawyers admitted

127 lawyers were admitted to the bar of the National and Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby today.

This is the 50th year of admitting lawyers to the bar and the highest admission compared to the last 50 years. This group of lawyers are also the first group to undergo the strict, fit and proper test as per the new law following amendments in parliament to improve the quality of lawyers.

The journey to the admission bar of the National and Supreme Court has not been an easy one for these young men and women. They have had to put a lot of time and effort to reach this milestone.

“My journey from law school to graduating and now receiving my Certificate of Admission has been tough but I managed to pass through,” says Jess Rapa, daughter of Western Highlands Governor, Wai Rapa.

But the joy of receiving their admission certificate outweighed this long journey – one said he just wants to enjoy this moment.

“Law has been a very challenging experience and a career path to take but then again the victory is sweet. All the restless nights and deadlines that we’ve had to put up with are, it feels like it was worth it in the end having gotten my certificate to practice,” said Brendan Wira.

For others, it’s been juggling work and school. Maivo Lafanama is an example of a man who dedicated his time to studies while at the same time subbing news for NBC Radio. He walked out of Court Room 9 a happy man, ready to serve the newsroom and improve the court reporting process.

“So I was doing PM subbing for four years and then doing studies during the day so that did not affect my work and I had to find a balance. For LTI it was very hectic so I had to ask the management to give me time off.”

The admission of the 127 lawyers today starts the journey to being certified lawyers. Today’s events saw the admission to the bar with an admission certificate received and names added to the Roll of Lawyers.

These men and women will now go out to work and apply for a practicing certificate from the PNG Law Society to practice law in the court system of PNG. This lot also represent the last lot of lawyers to be admitted in the old National and Supreme Court house building. Next year’s graduates will be admitted at the New National and Supreme Court House Complex.

Meantime, a total of 167 lawyers were trained at the Legal Training Institute, but only 127 made it through. The remaining did not meet the stringent process introduced in 2023.

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