Land Court Manual Developed to Settle Disputes


By Theckla Gunga –  EMTV, Port Moresby

The Magisterial Service of Papua New Guinea is working on a new land reform, designed to better manage land disputes in rural communities.

Following a review into the Land Court Regulation Form, which was held in Lae, the National Land Development Program will be revising land forms and analysing the current land mediation process.

This will give birth to a manual which will will guide land mediators to best manage land disputes. 

Adjustments will be made to areas where the Land Registration Act overarches the Land Dispute Settlement Act.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Pupaka, in an interview with EMTV, said the amended Land Dispute Settlement Act will include information regarding how best to handle conflict management, as well as a sub-section that deals specifically with land disputes.

The magisterial service is a major partner in the government’s National Land Development Program, with the service’s main focus being to settle land and land owner disputes.  

The magisterial service is now anticipating a focused collaboration between the Department of Justice and the Attorney General to ensure that the welfare of land mediators at a district level is taken care of.

“The collaboration between [the] magisterial service and the attorney general is strengthened and we are working [as one] towards the land court manual,” Pupaka said.

The manual is expected to tabled in parliament during its September sitting. Once the bill has passed it will be used in both district and provincial courts to manage land disputes across Papua New Guinea.

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