Chairman of Judicial and Legal Services Commission Ano Pala announced the resignation of Justice Don Sawong from the National and Supreme Courts of Papua New Guinea.
Justice Sawong’s resignation is effective as of 31 March 2017.
In a press statement dated 12 April and released on April 21, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, on behalf of the Government of PNG, thanked Justice Sawong for his services to the judiciary.
Justice Sawong’s resignation comes two years short before his current term expires. He has served a total of 19 years as a judge.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia said Justice Sawong’s resignation is over personal reasons.
“His departure from the bench obviously leaves a gap in the judiciary because he was one of our senior judges, very experienced as well and he is the senior residence judge of Lae.
“His departure means that I will have to look for a judge to replace him in Lae,” the Chief Justice added.
Justice Sawong was first appointed to the bench on 24 February 1994 as an acting judge.
He was appointed a permanent judge of the National and Supreme Court on 31 May 1995, for a term of 10 years.
He was reappointed on 1 June 2005 for another 10 year term however, resigned on 1 January 2006 to contest the 2007 National Elections.
On 15 September 2009, Justice Sawong was re-appointed to the bench again for a term of 10 years. That term was to expire in 2019.
Justice Sawong is from Kabwum in the Morobe Province. He was a private law practitioner in Lae prior to his appointment as acting judge in 1994.
(Picture of Justice Don Sawong, MBE. Picture courtesy of the Office of the Chief Justice, National Judicial Staff Service)