23 Nov 2005

RAMSI offers additional assistance to Solomon Islands High Court

2:20 pm on 23 November 2005

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, or RAMSI, is offering to make additional assistance available to the Department of Justice and Legal Affairs.

RAMSI's special co-ordinator, James Batley, says the courts are finding it difficult to deal with the high number of cases that have resulted from investigations in the wake of the ethnic tension.

He says the offer could cover the possibility of another judge, and additional prosecutors and defenders.

"We've recently had discussions with the chief justice as to whether the High Court might be interested in enhanced assistance, through RAMSI. We've made that offer. That's still being considered by the High Court but it's an issue given the still very high workload that the court faces."

Mr Batley says RAMSI is following up on one of the recommendations made by an Eminent Persons Group earlier in the year that it should focus on strengthening its work in the justice and legal sector.