A transition back to the old structure of the court system and the increase in the number of judges has been proposed by the Judiciary arm as a means to improve on the delivery of the justice services to the people.
The Minister for Justice and Attorney General Pila Niningi, said the issues now with the current system is that it’s not enough to cater for the number of cases going through each day, week and month.
He said there is a backlog of 25, 000 cases to be presided over by a judge. And to make matters worse, there is just not enough judges in the country.
He said that the current system where there is just a Supreme Court and National Court, is not helping either.
To alleviate this problem, Minister Niningi said a submission was sent to the National Executive Council (NEC) proposing the reintroduction of a High Court, National Court, a Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court structure, which was a system that existed before independence.
“This new proposal will see each court have their own judges, unlike the current system where the same judges sit for national and supreme court.”
Fortunately, there is progress to improve the service. The Minister said the NEC has instructed for the recruiting of judges from overseas.
The government instructed the Judiciary to bring in 20 more judges to boost the current 40 judges to 60 judges, above the ceiling of the number of judges required.
He said the NEC has given directives to look overseas to get in 5 judges from Australia, 4 from New Zealand, 2 from Canada and 5 from other Commonwealth countries, to ensure a diversity of national and international judges working in the Judiciary arm of the government.