CHIEF JUSTICE VOWS TO IMPROVE PROVINCIAL COURT CIRCUITS

The High Court of Solomon Islands. Photo credit: SIBC.

The High Court of Solomon Islands. Photo credit: SIBC.

Chief Justice, Sir Albert Palmer has promised to improve Court circuits this year.

He says bringing the rule of law closer to the people remains a top priority and they must do all they can to improve on these goals to the districts and provinces.

“Our provincial outreach program this year must be strengthened and improved. I was quite optimistic last year when I noted that the year 2014 saw the people’s court, that is the local courts and the customary land appeal courts holding regular sitting, but my optimism was not matched by the activities of these courts in 2015. This year must signal a difference for these courts and all hands on board must seek to ensure that these courts sit as often as personnel and funding permits.”

The Chief Justice said they will also try to convene court sitting in other remote areas of the country.

“There are still other remote places in the country where these courts are yet to convene sittings. We haven’t forgotten them and I would want to see justice being extended to those remote areas this year in terms of long overdue court sittings. As the people’s courts, our goal must be to be able to meet the expectations of the public in relation to the timely settlement of their disputes processed through these courts.”

Meanwhile, President of the Solomon Islands Bar Association (SIBA) has warned private law firms to have proper offices for their clients.

Whitlam Togamae of Whitlam, K. Togamae lawyers said the recent years have seen a rising number of law firms and which offers clients a wide range of law assistants.

But Mr Togamae says the law firms have created a disrepute for the law profession, because they do not have an established office.

“I would ask the registrar of the High Court that all law firms must have a physical office and address. Not only that but maybe how to access and use email and respond to their clients and other members of the public. I must reiterate to my colleague practitioners do not charge high fees from your clients if you know that you do not have an office where your clients will come to see you.”

Mr. Togamae was speaking at the recent opening of the 2016 Legal Year.

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