Division to handle State-claim cases

A special division has been set up by the judiciary to deal with claims by and against the state in the National Court.

The special administrative track was set up last year to specialise in the handling of case by or against the state.

The National Court currently has between 4,000 to 5,000 cases involving the state, such as statutory bodies and incorporations.

That caseload requires experienced judges to sit through and dispose of them in a qualitative way.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia said the bulk of the state claims are actually registered at Waigani.

“Other judges are also dealing with the state claims outside Port Moresby…the caseload against the state is increasing.

“I would think that of the civil cases registered in the National Court, around 40 percent of the total civil cases registered would be claims by or against the state and that would be heavy workload,” he revealed.

The new track will be administered in Waigani by Justice Hitelai Polume Kiele.

The African judge who was sworn in yesterday, Justice Oagile Bethuel Key Dingake, will assist her with those state-claim cases.

Sally Pokiton