The Papua New Guinea Centre for Judicial Excellence (PNGCJE) has conducted another awareness on Access to Justice in several communities in the Rigo and Abau Districts of Central Province throughout the month of July.

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 Lepamagana, Lebogoro, Magautou, Koreone, Waiori, Manugoro and Upilima villages.  

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. Pacific Policy and Advocacy Advisor for Save the Children PNG Mr Julian Whayman also accompanied the team and spoke on children’s rights.

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, Children’s Rights 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.

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).

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