by Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
Five National and Supreme Courts Judges were sworn in today by Governor General, Grand Chief Sir Michael Ogio.
Among them were two female judges, bringing the number of female citizen judges, to three.
Six judges were appointed as acting and permanent National and Supreme Court judges last month, however, five were officially sworn in today.
This brings the total number of acting and permanent judges to 37 which are, on record, the highest number of judges in PNG’s history.
Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, said the appointments will strengthen the judiciary’s capacity to deal with the growing number of pending cases.
Of the six appointments, the terms of appointment of three serving judges were renewed, while three new permanent judges were appointed.
The judges are Justice George Manuhu, Justice Allan David, Mr Fraser Pitpit, Ms Hitelai Kiele, Mr Kenneth Frank, and Acting Leka Nablu.
The new appointments will also enable the National Court to expand its operations to the provinces by placing sufficient number of judges in the provinces to conduct increased court circuits and sittings.