A new judge has been appointed to the National and Supreme Courts, which brings the total number of judges in Papua New Guinea to 39.
This is from Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, upon the swearing in of Justice Jeffrey Leonard Shepherd, as a National and Supreme Court Judge.
Sir Salamo said one more appointment will be coming up soon that will take the number to 40. This follows positions in the judiciary services that has been left vacant by three former judges.
Justice Jeffrey Shepherd is from Warkworth, New Zealand, is not new to the justice system in Papua New Guinea.
He was admitted to practice law in PNG in 1983 and has appeared counsel in many civil and commercial cases in PNG’s high Courts.
His main responsibility will be Court Annexed Mediation, and he will be based at Waigaini National and Supreme Courts. He will also help out in other civil matters.
He will be partnered with Justice Ambeng Kandekasi to run the full mediation program for the Waigani National Court.
He was intensively involved in the drafting of the “Alternate Dispute Resolution Rules” which has been adopted as part of the National Court Rules.
“What I hope to bring to the National Court is my practical experience as a mediator and my career experience of more than 30 years in PNG as a litigation lawyer,” said the newly appointed judge.
Justice Jeffrey Shepherd’s appointment is a term of three years.
Prior to his appointment, he was a PNG Accredited Mediator and Principal of Shepherds Mediations, providing court-annexed mediation and arbitration services in PNG.
Sir Salamo confirmed that the judicial service now has 39 judges. Four of whom are on acting appointments, and 35 are fulltime.
He said there is still a vacancy for five more judges.
The statutory ceiling is 40 permanent judges.