LEGAL PROFESSIONAL BILL EXPECTED IN PARLIAMENT BY END YEAR

Inside the National Parliament. Photo credit: National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

Inside the National Parliament. Photo credit: National Parliament of Solomon Islands.

The Legal Professional Bill is expected to be tabled before Parliament at the end of this year.

The Bill will regulate and safeguard private legal practitioners and their clients.

Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs Fred Mesa says the Bill is the result of public complaints that legal practitioners are misusing their clients’ monies.

“There are some certain lawyers in the Practice before that misused their client’s monies and as a result public has requested that there should be an amendment in the Act to safeguard both the lawyers and their clients, that is for the private lawyers.”

The Solomon Islands Bar Association (SIBA) has been working very closely with the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs in relation to the drafting of this bill.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet has approved the review of the terms and conditions of Court of Appeal Judges and High Court Judges.

Justice Permanent Secretary Fred Mesa says the review was approved in May this year.

He says once the review is gazetted it should attract more experienced and qualified legal practitioners’ to the bench.

“We only have four Judges, High Court Judges and so we believe that once this is implemented we should have seven judges so we will need three more additional. In the past we have advertised for Judges but it hasn’t really attracted qualified people, experienced people to apply because I think the terms and conditions were not as good as now if the amended one is signed by the Prime Minister and gazetted.”

Mr. Mesa says a small section of the review still needs signing by the Government before it is gazetted.

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