Pacific chief judges meet in Tonga to discuss issues facing  court systems

Front row (L to R): Sister Bernadette Eberi (Kiribati), Justice Colin Winchester (Marshall Islands), Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika (Papua New Guinea), Honourable Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek (Vanuatu), Justice Kathleen Salii (Palau), Honourable Chief Justice Chang William (Federated States of Micronesia), Justice Daryl Clarke (Samoa), Ms Tangianau Taoro (Cook Islands). Middle row (L to R): Ms Nicole Cherry (PJSI Project Manager), Ms Lady Fatima Fonua (Tonga), Ms Myonnie Samani (Solomon Islands), Ms Claudine Henry-Anguna (Cook Islands), Ms Katie Stride (Deputy District Registrar Federal Court of Australia). Back row (L to R): Mr Viliami Folaumahina (Tonga), Mr Penijamini Lomaloma (Nauru), Dr Livingston Armytage (PJSI Technical Director), Mr Desmond Hipa (Niue), Mr John Mathieson (Deputy Principal Registrar, Federal Court of Australia). Photo/Supplied

Chief Judges and judicial officers from 12 Pacific Island countries were meeting in a workshop in Nukuʻalofa to discuss issues facing their court systems.

The law experts were looking at topics including judicial leadership, the drivers of change that were facing the courts of the South Pacific and discussing approaches and tools to support leaders within Pacific judiciaries.

“Overall, the Workshop will provide the opportunity for senior judicial officers across the region to discuss the issues facing their judiciary and develop effective strategies to overcome these issues and strengthen their court systems”, a statement said.

The three-day workshop which will end tomorrow was being hosted by Tonga’s Chief Justice Honourable Owen Paulsen.

“The workshop is attended by Chief Justices and Judicial Officers, among other senior court staff from Tonga, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu”, it said.

“The Judicial Leadership Workshop, which was opened by Her Excellency Sarah Walsh, High Commissioner for New Zealand, is promoting regional leadership as part of the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade funded Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative (June 2016-July 2021).

“The goal of Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative is to build fairer societies by supporting the courts in the Pacific region to develop more accessible, just, efficient and responsive justice services. The Initiative operates in the 12 countries including Tokelau and Tuvalu”.

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