Criminal justice system needs radical overhaul

PNG’s criminal justice system needs a radical overhaul.

Minister for National Planning and Chairman of the Consultative Implementation & Monitoring Council (CIMC), Richard Maru, said this during the National Capital District Law & Order Summit recently in Port Moresby.

He urged all stakeholders and participants to come up with recommendations for radical overhaul to deal with what he calls a “very weak criminal justice system”.

Minister Maru said one of the factors is tolerance with people not reporting crime, even when committed in broad daylight and in front of people.

Even with increased penalties, especially for violence against women, no one comes forward. He said this attitude has to change.

Minister Maru said another example is the burning of the Air Niugini plane in Mendi, where the culprits have not yet been brought to justice.

He said the Government has done a lot over the years by investing in more police infrastructure and logistics, and recruitment. Also they have employed more judges and put up many district court houses; but yet the statistics are the same.

The Minister said if there needs to be a revisit of existing laws, then Government should commit to that and give priority to enforce these laws so there is compliance from all parties concerned.

He said there must be ways to prevent crime and if there are perpetrators of the law and justice systems, they must be held accountable and brought to justice.

Meanwhile, the Minster commended Police in Lae for their effective management of law and order issues in the country’s second largest city, resulting in a decrease in crimes there.

He said having a safe city and country is important for growing the economy and securing more foreign investment into the future. All citizens, irrespective of gender, race, culture, religion or specialties, will have equal opportunity to participate and benefit from the development of the country.

The Minister said he is looking forward to receiving some strong recommendations and will ensure they are brought to Cabinet after the National Development Forum.

(File picture of Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru)

Press release