1 Dec 2008

New PNG Chief Justice aims to put more judges on bench

8:12 pm on 1 December 2008

Papua New Guinea's new chief justice says that the number of judges in the Supreme and National courts will increase from the current ceiling of 25 to up to 40 in the next two to five years.

The newspaper, The National, reports that Sir Salamo Injia has annouced an ambitious programme to reform and streamline the nation's judiciary.

The programme includes raising the retirement age for serving judges to 72 or 75 years rather than the current 65 years.

Sir Salamo says that these measures will enable the courts to effectively deal with the current backlog of active cases while improving case management and information technology facilities to modernise the court's current case management systems.

In his maiden speech as Chief Justice, Sir Salamo also announced that the court was currently studying its own structures to restructure them with a view to separating the Supreme Court from the National Court.

There is also the possibility of introducing an intermediate appellate court between the National and the Supreme Court.