THE third arm of Government, the Judiciary, is at a great loss following the passing of yet another senior judge.
Late Justice Jim Wala Tamate died at the Port Moresby General Hospital last Sunday after a short illness.
Justice Minister, Bryan Kramer, when offering his condolences to the family of the late judge, said Justice Wala Tamate was a man of integrity.
He is the third of three sitting judges to have passed on in the space of two months.
Minister Kramer said that his passing and that of Justice Nicholas Kiriwom in April and Justice Regina Sagu in March was a great loss to the PNG judiciary.
Mr Kramer said he would be speaking to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) and the Department of Justice and Attorney General (DJAG) about the welfare of its members.
“As Police Minister, one of my concerns was that we had a healthy force. Now as Justice Minister my focus is on DJAG and related bodies such as JLSC.”
Kramer said an improved workplace health policy which includes annual medical checkups for all staff, preferably for the law and justice sector as a whole needs to be looked at.
“We can also ask members who may have ongoing health conditions if they would consider early retirement which allows them to spend time with their families rather than being in a situation where they are passing away on the job,” Mr Kramer said.
Late Justice Tamate who hails from Hula Village in the Rigo District of the Central Province, graduated from the University of Papua New Guinea in 1986 and was admitted to the bar in 1987. He was appointed to the bench in 2017.
Justice Wala Tamate practiced law for 28 years in the offices of the Public Prosecutor and the Public Solicitor.