By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
More than 7,000 criminal cases are still pending since 1983 because of irregularities in enforcement.
An integrated centralised database will be established for all Law and Justice Sector agencies, involved in the criminal justice processes to address such issues.
Today, the agencies signed eleven Memorandum of Understanding’s, to launch the National Criminal Justice Improvement Project.
The project is historical for Papua New Guinea, as it is the first of the commonwealth countries to involve all Law and Justice Sector agencies involved in criminal processes, to improve the way cases have been managed and dealt with.
The Judiciary will take the lead role, while all law and justice sectors, including Police and Correctional Service, will commit their agencies to work in collaboration.
This means the set database will have a relevant data of all criminal cases, and will be able to track and monitor cases from the point of arrest to the point of disperse.
Unlike before, all vital information will be shared among the agencies and be accessible through this database.
They will also be able to identify issues and be able to solve them. Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, said the work of the law and justice sectors have remained largely uncoordinated.
As a result, the management and tracking of criminal cases have been inefficient in the system.
Although it has been widely spoken, there is no data to support this assumption.
Currently, there are about 7,700 pending criminal cases.
The oldest case goes back to 1983, where a warrant of arrest was issued and never executed.
Meanwhile, the National Criminal Justice Improvement Project is a ‘Law and Justice Sector-wide Initiative’.
A mechanism was set in 2001, to bring together all the law and justice sector agencies, to find ways in improving the management of criminal court cases that enters the system.