Legal services provided to more than 15,000 people living in Daru have been improved following village court information sessions and inspections held in the area recently.
A team of officials from Western Province accompanied by an officer from PNG’s Village Court and Land Mediation Secretariat met with village court officials and community members from the Tamate, Iaru, Cawo’o, Darowaro, and Central Kiwai Village Courts.
The meetings were an opportunity to share information and ideas about court and mediation services and how they can best support the community.
The officials inspected village court records, reviewed the conduct of court officials, observed court procedures and held information sessions for more than 300 community members.
The activities were supported by the Australian Government through the PNG-Australia Partnership to strengthen village court and land mediation services in Western Province, recognising the central role village courts play in bringing justice to remote communities.
Australian High Commission representative Elizabeth Beard, who supported the inspection team visiting the Daru area, said effective village courts and land mediation services were important to improving community safety and security.
“For many people, village courts are where they can access justice and resolve disputes over land, debt or petty crime before they escalate into something more serious,” said the representative.
“That is why the PNG-Australia Partnership is committed to working with PNG to strengthen village courts by training officials, providing resources and conducting inspections.”
Since 2016, the Partnership has provided training for more than 2360 village court magistrates and clerks across Papua New Guinea, improving the quality and accessibility of legal services provided to more than 1.4 million people.