Papua New Guinea Centre for Judicial Excellence Team meets Village Court Officials.

The Papua New Guinea Centre for Judicial Excellence (PNGCJE) has reached out to communities to promote access to justice through awareness and training of Village Court Officials.

A team led by Executive Director Dr. John Carey and Deputy Executive Director Mr. Sam Kaipu, along with Program Officers Mrs. Stacey Levakia Wali and Mrs. Arabella Owen visited Village Court Officials in eight (8) different communities across Central Province, Gulf Province and the National Capital District (NCD) from October 2 to November 2. The communities were Gaire and Gaba Gaba villages, Kwikila, Kupiano, Sogeri, June Valley, Marshall Lagoon villages and Kerema.

During those visits they shared material related to Access to Justice and its application in practice along with a copy of the Papua New Guinea Constitution.

“I am happy to help and provide technical assistance to the Village Courts in strengthening their ability to build a stronger community through their important work in Villages throughout Papua New Guinea. My role as Program Officer includes supporting training activities throughout the Pacific Islands for Lay Judicial Officers”, says Mrs. Arabella Owen.

Most of the Village Court Officials including magistrates, peace officers and chairmen were very pleased with the program and commended PNGCJE for the effort and commitment put into bringing training and development out to the village and community level.

PNGCJE stakeholders include the Department of Justice and Attorney General under which the Village Court Magistrates fall under. The PNGCJE intends to work closely with the Village Courts Magistrates Secretariat as the need arises in the future to facilitate and assist in training that will support improving access to justice in the Village Courts.

The PNGCJE received funding and logistical support to do this visit from the Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative (PJSI). PJSI is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZ MFAT).

Deputy Executive Director Mr. Sam Kaipu said that, “All of our programs are focused on the needs of each target audience and a training needs assessment whether formal or informal assists the PNGCJE to provide technical support on a range of topics which cover knowledge, skills and/or awareness training”. The PNGJCE whose Chairman is the Chief Justice of Papua New Guinea Sir Gibuma Gibbs Salika, has a staff complement of 22 and has capacity and interest in doing more programs in collaboration with all of its stakeholder which include the Judiciary, Magisterial Services and the Department of Justice and Attorney General and the Law and Justice Sector in PNG.

Executive Director Dr. John Carey (third form left) on a boat with Village Court Officials in Waiori.
PNGCJE Officials and Village Court Officials in Hula.
Program Officer Ms. Stacey Levakia-Wali handing out training materials to village court officials in Kwikila.

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