New magistrates announced

A new batch of magistrates was announced this afternoon by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Justice and Attorney General.

The Judicial and Legal Services Commission made six new appointments for magistrates and two acting appointments of principal magistrates for the provinces.  

  1. Recent appointment of magistrates
  1. Paul Nii;
  2. Seth Tanei;
  3. Mathew Maitang;
  4. Ms Mayambo Ipu Peipul;
  5. Edward Komia; and
  6. Steven Paisi
  1. Acting appointment of principal magistrates
  1. Ms Lorna Sani – Enga Province;
  2. Billy Pidu – Manus Province

The Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Davis Steven, was happy to note that two women are part of the group, further voicing his confidence in the experience and qualification of the six appointees.

“It’s really my great hope that we strengthen the magistracy and from the Magisterial Services we will build good judges that can be elevated in due course,” he stated. “I am referring to the recent decision of the JLSC to appoint six magistrates, including a wonderful female in Mayambo Ipu Peipul.

“I want to say that the rest of them – the other five – are very qualified and I’m heartened to think that it’s now time for a new generation of magistrates.”

The manpower ceiling for magistrates is 121 – two deputy chief magistrates, 29 principal magistrates and 90 District Court magistrates. The institutional magistrate strength to May 2019 was 78, which is 43 vacancies.

In October 2019, the Judicial and Legal Services Commission appointed 10 new magistrates. From October 2019 to March 2020, the magistracy lost 10 magistrates to retirement and resignation.

This recent batch was appointed on June 19th. Between June 2020 and June 2021, eight senior magistrates are scheduled to retire.

If all six appointees take up their appointments, and there is no other cause for loss other than retirement, by this time next year, the magistracy strength will be at 73 magistrates.

The magistracy is challenged to push hard on recruitment considering the Government’s directive to have 200 magistrates in the district courts by 2021.

(Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Davis Steven, when making the announcement)

Carmella Gware