Letters & Opinions

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Headless magisterial services

LAST August applications were received following advertisement of a vacancy in positions of Chief Magistrate and two deputies, one of which was for the proposed Land Court.

It is six months since the process commenced, and the nation is waiting for an announcement to come from the Judicial & Legal Services Commission (JLSC). Our moles in the Head Quarters of the Magisterial Services and the Secretariat of JLSC have revealed certain information that the public ought to know.

Sources within Waigani have it that already an appointment has been made in or about November 2009 from among the list received by the JLSC. If that should be the case, then it is taking too long for all to know who the new Chief Magistrate is, so that official business of office will be conducted assuring the public this important public office is in safe and capable hands.

Sources also indicated that certain disgruntled applicants for the top post have gone to higher courts to seek certain injunctive orders to restrain effecting of the appointment. Should such unfortunate act pertain, then it raises the question of who are the parties seeking redress in this unholy way and further, whether it is appropriate that such information of the said appointment by the appointing authority is made known to certain people without first being gazetted.

It is stressful that unsuccessful candidates to this coveted post, so vital to the operation of magistracy throughout PNG should challenge an appointing authority, especially by those who have served their term.

I request the minister responsible, Dr. Allan Marat to clarify whether an acting appointment has been made for this top post in the interim. Secondly, if a new appointment has been made, why has the gazettal taken so long.

In any case, if the vibes are not true in that JLSC has not deliberated on the appointment of Chief Magistrate, then those who filed in the higher court may be said to have "jumped the gun".

Mud Crab 3
Gerehu Swamp

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