Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia

Legal Training Institute to be relocated

This announcement was made by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia at the closing of the Litigation Workshop on September 7th.

Legal Training Institute, the home that groomed and produced over a thousand certified legal practitioners, has been operating temporarily from the now Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance at Waigani.

Sir Salamo said discussions have been ongoing between LTI and the University of PNG.

Public Solicitor sworn in

Mamu was sworn in by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia on Friday in Port Moresby.

The office of the Public Solicitor provides legal aid service ranging from criminal to civil, including family law.

Since the elevation of the former Public Solicitor (now Justice) Jim Wala Tamate to the National and Supreme Court bench, Leslie Mamu, was the acting Public Solicitor.

He was appointed Public Solicitor on July 30 by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission.

Work on Waigani Court Complex on track

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia took the media on a tour of the complex construction, and said it is now 40 percent complete.

Construction of the new court complex began in 2015. It was to be completed this year however, funding affected the schedule. Nevertheless, it is on track to be completed in September of 2019. 

Chief Justice Sir Salamo said the contract was signed between the government and the construction company at K427 million.

Once the new buildings are complete, K180 million will be used to refurbish the existing court building in part two of the works.

Land needed for Goroka court facilities

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia said they have had several discussions with the provincial administration but when those discussions will materialise is unclear.

The National and District Court service facility for Eastern Highlands Province is currently compact in a small piece of land in Goroka Town.

The National Court facility was recently upgraded and opened.

The District Court facility, on the other hand, needs to be completely broken down and reconstructed.

Sir Salamao said the building is from the colonial era and is a safety hazard.

Sir Salamo pays tribute to late judge

He said the late judge was a role model in his community and among his colleagues.

Sir Salamo said late Ipang was very committed and always made fair decisions.

Meantime, Madang Governor Peter Yama described the late Justice Ipang as a very transparent judge.

Yama extended his gratitude to Sir Salamo for bringing the late judge home despite his busy schedule.

Hela Provincial Administrator William Bando also made the same comments and hailed the people of Madang for producing a man of integrity like the late judge Martin Ipang.

Kramer directed to engage lawyer

Kramer appeared before Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia for directions on Monday.

He was given another two weeks to engage a lawyer to assist him and conduct the case on his behalf.

The matter will return to court on April 3.

Kramer is seeking to reopen the case from 2015 that was decided on by a five-man Supreme Court bench.

He believes the Supreme Court’s ruling not to decrease the 18-month grace period was unconstitutional.

He wants the 18-month grace period to be reduced to 12 months.

Division to handle State-claim cases

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.

Judiciary reasons out delay in cases

That is the period of time an accused person who pleads not guilty can wait for in the national courts.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia said this is due to the limitation in the number of judges in the judiciary.

He said there is a need to separate the courts so that there can be judges who will be dedicated to dispose cases in the respective courts.

The restructure of the courts is pending the passing of the court of appeals bill that is currently before parliament.

Election petitions given priority

Despite being just a portion of cases before the court, the judiciary has set a timeline to dispose all those petition trial in the National Court by June this year.

“We’ve set a target. In terms of the reviews, some have already been filed and hope by end of this year will see through most of the reviews,” he said.

Election petition reviews filed in the Supreme Court so far include that filed by Francis Potape over the Hela regional petition and Mai Dop over the Jimi seat. More are expected to be filed.

Sakora allowed to deliver decisions

The Attorney General, as chairman of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission last year, issued a public statement regarding Justice Sakora’s suspension.

“He is still currently under suspension pending a hearing of a constitutional case in the Supreme Court that has risen out of the referral (to the tribunal),” says Sir Salamo.

“As soon as the constitutional case is disposed of, depending on the outcome of the case, his suspension will be determined.