Prime Minister outlines Government Measures to strengthen Rule of Law in country

Wednesday 14 February 2024

 The  Marape Rosso Government is more determined than ever in rehabilitating the Law & Justice sector to support the environment for the growth of businesses in the country, in the wake of the 10 January 2024 unrest in the National Capital District.

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape highlighted this as he apologized to the PNG business community on behalf of the government, following the events of 10 January 2024 where many Port Moresby shops were looted and destroyed.

 He was speaking at the annual Back-to-Business breakfast meeting hosted by the PNG Business Council, and sponsored by  Kina Bank, yesterday morning (13 February).

The Prime Minister said the Marape-Rosso Government has been focused on putting in policies to rehabilitate the Law & Justice sector to make the environment conducive for businesses growth.

Under the Bilateral Security Agreement with Australia, some significant undertaking to upgrade the sector is underway. Major rehabilitative work is going into restructuring of the National & Supreme Courts to make it a three-tier court system with the inclusion of an appeals court.

 An Appeals Court would sit directly above the National Court before the Supreme Court, allowing the highest court to have its own “distinct” space.

PM Marape said as Parliament resumes this year, one of the first things the Government would be doing is to bring a notice to enact the law to allow this to happen.

“It is part of the reforms taking place in line with the agreement with Australia, in which Australia will assist supply more judges to support the courts in PNG.

Papua New Guinea has had a 40-judge ceiling over the last 40-or-so years, leading to a huge backlog of cases because of population increase and the growing legal needs of Papua New Guineans.

 “There is a big backlog of court cases. When we took office, we looked into this downside of a 40-judge ceiling, and have already lifted it to 200.

 “So the additional judges and the court restructure, when it is completed, should envelope our country in better justice dispensation and a more efficient judiciary.”

He said Police capability and capacity are also up for revamping, adding, “Under the Bilateral Security Agreement, Australian police will assist to strengthen the capacity of PNG police.”

 In  his recent visit to Canberra , Prime Minister  Marape visited   modern police facilities to see how some of these technology and capabilities could be adopted to help our police in the country.

 The Prime Minister also highlighted the work the Independent Commission Against Commission is carrying out and his government’s continuing support to the corruption watchdog.

In the public utilities of water and power,  Mr  Marape said the Government is cognizant of these needs which has led to an investment of K110 million for the supply of 54 megawatts of power from Edevu Power into Port Moresby.

“Hopefully, this time next year, we will have stabilized the Port Moresby and Lae power supplies, as these are the two urban centres hosting most of our industries and businesses.”

 The Prime Minister assured the community that infrastructure in roads and bridges, ports and jetties, airports and airstrips, as well as telecommunications including the internet are also being upgraded to better meet their needs and those of the rest of the country.

 “We are also re-fleeting Air Niugini with 11 new aircraft which are on their way. In agriculture, our Price Support and Freight Subsidy programs are continuing to help our rural farmers, and also encourage people to return to their homes to get engaged on their own land.

 “These are some measures demonstrating that we want our economy functioning and existing within a lawful and enabling environment.”

 “I thank you for all you are doing in supporting our economy and our government through the taxes you pay,” Prime Minister added.

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