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PALIKIR, Pohnpei (Federated States of Micronesia Information Service, Feb. 28) – The Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia announced that Chief Justice Andon L. Amaraich has been selected to the executive committee of the region’s new judicial development program.

During the recent conference of the Pacific judiciary heads in Auckland, New Zealand, the chief justices of the Pacific Island countries formalized the establishment of a Pacific Judicial Development Program, which would advocate judicial education and court service improvement programs along with providing support to the Pacific island nations’ judiciaries.

To spearhead the new program, the justices selected a seven-member executive committee to guide the development of judicial education programs for court officials and staff along with capacity building programs for the court systems of the pacific island countries.

The executive committee is composed of three chief justices, a representative from the Pacific Judiciary Magistracies, a representative from the field of judicial and legal education and a representative from each of the two funding agencies: AusAid - the Australian government’s overseas aid program and NZAid - New Zealand’s international aid and development agency.

Along with Chief Justice Amaraich, the other two justices are Chief Justice Sir Mari Kapi of Papua New Guinea and Chief Justice Patu Falefatu Maka Sapolu of Samoa. Chief Justice Sir Mari Kapi holds the chairmanship for the executive committee.

The Pacific Judicial Development Program initiative allows the donor countries the flexibility to support, and the framework to cause achievement of objectives anticipated to promote and support the principles of justice and good governance as set out in the Pacific Plan endorsed by the Forum leadership in November 2005.

Retired Judge Enoka Puni of Samoa and New Zealand chaired the New Zealand conference.

In attendance were chief justices from the following Pacific island nations: the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Also in attendance was Andrew Pope representing the Australian government’s AusAID and Glenys Karran of New Zealand government’s NZAid.

Pacific Judicial Development Program framework is endorsed by the Pacific Judiciaries Conference, the highest judicial organization in the Pacific region, which allows the justices of the Pacific nations to share initiatives that lend support to judiciary and jurisprudence development and advancement individually as well as collectively as a Pacific-wide judiciary system.

March 1, 2006

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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