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Issues call to make the work more attractive

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 23, 2009) – New Public Solicitor Douglas Hou has urged the Government to improve working terms and conditions for its lawyers.

Mr. Hou made the call after taking his oath at Government House yesterday.

"Maintaining lawyers at the Public Solicitor’s Office has proven very difficult," Hou said.

"This is due to the unattractive terms and conditions the government has given its lawyers.

"That is why I am calling on the government to seriously look into this issue," Hou told the Solomon Star.

He said law graduates coming out from university would normally join the Public Solicitor’s office for the first two to three years.

"When they get the experience, they resign and move on to greener pastures.

"This is why you see a high turn over of lawyers in this office," Hou, who has been working in the Public Solicitor since 1995, said.

He said the only way to stop lawyers from moving out is for the Government to offer them attractive working terms and conditions.

Meanwhile, Hou urged his colleagues to keep up the good work they’re currently doing.

He said hard work is the key to deliver satisfactory service to the public.

The new Public Solicitor praised his staff for their commitment and dedication despite the many challenges they face.

"Working in the public solicitor’s office is always challenging and demanding.

"But we have to give our best in order to meet the public demand for our service," he said.

Lawyer Aaron Mane, who was present at Government House to witness his new boss taking his oath, said staff at the Public Solicitor’s office were happy to see Hou got the top job.

He said Hou is a hardworking and experienced lawyer who has shown leadership during the months he was acting Public Solicitor.

"We all look forward to working under his leadership," Mr .Mane said.

Hou, who comes from Roapu village, Small Malaita, holds a masters degree in law from University of Auckland, New Zealand.

He first joined the Ombudsman’s Office as a legal officer in 1993 before moving on to the Public Solicitor in 1995.

Hou left the Public Solicitor’s Office in 1998 and joined Andrew Radclyffe’s Law Practise for a year before returning to rejoin the Public Solicitor’s office again in 2001.

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