PNG JUDGES IN CONFLICT WITH EACH OTHER

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Rift occurs over administrative decisions

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 14, 2009) – There is an obvious rift in the country’s most respected and admired third arm of Government the Judiciary.

There are some disagreements on certain administrative decisions that the current management has taken which has disappointed a bulk of the current serving Judges and staff of the National Judiciary Staff Services.

This was evident last week during the Ceremonial Court Sitting for the late former Chief Justice Sir Mari Kapi.

A number of senior Judges did not take their seats on the bench, while some senior staff of the Judiciary also did not attend the sitting to farewell the late retired Judge and Chief Justice.

The rift according to sources within the Judiciary stems from the way in which the funeral arrangement and programme of the late Justice Timothy Hinchliffe was carried out compared to the other two funeral arrangements of the late Justice Moses Jalina and recently the late retired Chief Justice Sir Mari Kapi.

The source said many senior Judges have expressed disappointment and questioned why the same honour was not accorded to the late Justice Timothy Hinchliffe although he was one of the longest serving Judges and deserves the same honour given to the others."It’s not a disrespect to the late former Chief Justice Sir Mari and late Justice Jalina because they both rightly deserve those Ceremonial sittings but how about the serving Judge and the longest and most experienced expatriate judge, Justice Hinchliffe, he also deserves this honour, he has sacrificed and given his time to serve PNG and the Judiciary should have accorded him more"

The late Justice Hinchliffe according to the source was given only one Funeral service in Mount Hagen by the Judiciary and hasty one in Port Moresby at the last minute because of the legal fraternity in Port Moresby who also wanted to pay their last respects to him.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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