National and Supreme court

Pending cases backlog

Following calls to speed up the judicial process of cases, the Judicial and Legal Services appointed nine new Acting Judges.

The judges were sworn in today at the Government House.

The Acting judges include; Acting Judge Nerrie Eliakim, Acting Judge Tracey Ganaii, Acting Judge Laura Wawun-Kuvi, Acting Judge Irene Ann Mugugia, Acting Judge Camillus Jacob Sambua, Acting Judge Emma Wurr, Acting Judge Michael Thoke, Acting Judge Gertrude Tamade and Acting Judge Gerhard Victor Linge.

“There are cases that date back to seven years ago.

New normal in Courts

The Supreme and National court registrar, Ian Augerea, says all courts throughout the country are instructed to do the same.

The directions were for all staff and public accessing the court complex to wear a mask at all times. A hand wash station has been set up for the public to wash their hands before proceeding into the courthouse.

Their temperatures will be checked at the entry point and social distancing must be practiced as per the red lines indicated on the footpath and in the courtrooms. 

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.

Judiciary saddened at judge passing

 A sad day indeed for the judiciary and members of the legal fraternity are deeply saddened at the untimely passing of the judge who was serving his second 10-year term as a National and Supreme Court judge.

Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia has released an official statement regarding the death, extending the judiciary’s condolence to his wife, Sandy Lenalia, children and relatives.

The late judge passed on today at 1:30am from the Pacific International Hospital after suffering from a heart attack. He was medevac to Port Moresby on Saturday.

Justice Cannings re-appointed

Justice Cannings was sworn in this morning at the Government house by Governor General Sir Michael Ogio, in the presence of his fellow brother judges and the media.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justice Sir Bernard Sakora, Justice Allan David and Justice Les Gavara-Nanu attended the event.

The swearing-in today comes after Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Service Commission and Attorney General Ano Pala, re-appointed Justice Cannings for another three years commencing June 24, 2016.

More judges needed for courts

Sir Salamo said currently there are 36 permanent judges and four acting judges. This does not include himself and the Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika.

“We obviously need more judges to dispose of the growing volume of cases,” Sir Salamo said. 

At 36 permanent judges, they have another six more permanent judges to appoint.

“The idle number is between 60 to 80 judges but we are going by the current ceiling which is 40 and we are close to reaching that,” he said.

Of the 40 Judges, only 14 are based in Waigani while the rest are based in the provinces.

89 new Lawyers admitted to the Bar

Amongst those who were admitted were four Solomon Islanders.

The sitting took place in five court rooms at the Waigani National and Supreme Court rooms where motions of individual applications were moved by lawyers before the applicants took their oath in unison in court.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia who presided in one of the court rooms told the new lawyers to know and respect the rule of law as it is important for them as new lawyers joining the profession.

Legal year to open with service

This will see the courts in Boroko, Port Moresby and Waigani closed during Monday morning as Judges, Magistrates and Lawyers will be attending the service.

Judges, Magistrates and Lawyers will be led by a combined Police, Correctional Service and PNG Defence Force band will lead them from the Ela United Church hall into the Four Square Kaugere church.

Registrar and Sherriff of the Supreme and National Courts Ian Augerea in a statement said the service is for the Judiciary and Legal profession however members of the public are welcome to join.

New Judge sworn in

The Department of Justice and Attorney General today swore in a new judge of the National and Supreme courts.

He is Justice Kenneth Frank.

The event was held this morning at the Government House in the presence of other judges, Governor General, Michael Ogio and Chief Justice, Salamo Injia.

Frank graduated with a Law degree from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and was admitted to the bar in 1990.