Pacific nations benefit from NZ judicial initiative – Chief Justice Palmer

AUCKLAND, 20 APRIL 2018 (RNZ PACIFIC) – Chief justices from around the Pacific have been meeting in Auckland this week to consider ways to improve the rule of law and good governance in their judiciaries.

The Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative is funded by the New Zealand aid programme through to 2021.

The chief justices group is led by Solomon Islands Chief Justice Albert Palmer, who said the initiative is valuable as it addresses common challenges.

He said a key part of it is education.

“One such training is judicial orientation for new judicial officers, judges, and magistrates and also lay justices and non-law-trained members of our lower courts or the subordinate courts,” he said.

“Now most of these developing countries, the majority who deliver justice for the people, and this access to justice, comes from the subordinate courts, the lower courts, and so that is where the bulk of the funding is going in.”

The other countries represented were the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Kiribati, and Vanuatu.

New Zealand’s Chief Justice Sian Elias attended as the Chief Justice of Tokelau.