Solomon Islands appoints first female Chief Magistrate



New Chief Magistrate Emma Garo

Solomon Islands has appointed its first female Chief Magistrate.

Emma Garo, a former public solicitor who served as Magistrate and Deputy Chief Magistrate in the Honiara Central Magistrates’ Court, was sworn in to her new position this morning at the High Court.

Ms Garo said she considers her appointment a step away from gender barriers.

“I want to encourage the women in all the different sectors, not only in the legal fraternity and judiciary, to persevere, to move up in the ranks,” she said.

Ms Garo’s last appointment was an overseas posting as the Resident Magistrate in the Republic of Nauru from September 2014 to December last year.

“The opportunity that is being given to me now for me to hold this leadership role also comes with the responsibility for me to discharge this duty,” she said. “I also acknowledge that I will need the support of every other sectors across the community in terms of coordinating issues for a tangible and effective delivery service of the courts.”

Chief Magistrate Emma Garo at the Central Magistrate Court

Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer said Ms Garo is a pioneer for women and girls in the country and an example of how determination can lead to success.

Justice Palmer said her appointment naturally improves gender balance in the judiciary and it shows “that the bench is not merely a man’s job but that women can equally perform and participate in the administration of justice from the bench and not merely from the bar as well.”

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