Access To Justice – Jiwaka ProvincePNGCJE
The Papua New Guinea Centre for Judicial Excellence (PNGCJE) conducted an awareness on Access to Justice at the Kindeng community in Anglimp-South Waghi District of Jiwaka on February 21.
The purpose of the awareness was to help the ordinary people in the community have an understanding of their constitutional rights and freedoms, and how to access justice through the Courts if their rights are violated or infringed.
The program was conducted at the Assemblies of Local Church (ALC) in Papen Village, Kindeng. A total of fifteen (15) Village Court Magistrates, plus many Peace Officers, Village Court Clerks, Councilors and Community Leaders attended the sessions.
PNGCJE Executive Director Dr. John Carey was the lead facilitator who spoke on the Constitution, the different kinds of rights, how to responsibly enforce those rights through the courts, the separation of powers through the three arms of government and the jurisdiction of the Village Courts.
Three other PNGCJE officers attended as support staff and helped in organizing and conducting the program.
The sessions were interactive as participants raised many questions on the topics presented. The participants were each issued a copy of the PNG Constitution and brochures on Constitutional Rights and Freedoms, Basic Court Users Guide and Gender Equity and Social Inclusion.
Positive feedback was received from the participants who requested the PNGCJE team to return and conduct more programs for their communities.
Chief of the Onbe Tribe in Kindeng, Mr. Mark Konga thanked PNGCJE for reaching out to the community and addressing some of the most important issues that Village Court officials and community leaders face when dealing with issues concerning law and order.
“We don’t usually have people from the government visiting us and talk to us about the Constitution and our rights,” he said.
“This is a first of its kind and we are very pleased. We hope that more of such awareness and training be conducted for us in the future.”
Dr. Carey said the PNGCJE’s mandate was to design and deliver judicial education training programs for the judges, magistrates, court staff and members of the law and justice sector agencies. However, “we have seen a greater need for the ordinary citizens to know and understand their basic rights under the Constitution and how to properly access justice through the various systems and processes that are already in place. That is why the PNGCJE took the initiative to seek support from the Pacific Justice Sector Programme (PJSP) to facilitate the awareness program.
The program was funded by the PJSP under the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZ-MFAT) which covered several other awareness programs conducted in Kwikila, Rigo Inland, Hanuabada, and Papa Lealea. The program will also be conducted in Jiwaka and Manus provinces.