News, information and images of Papua New Guinea and its people
Thursday, 15 November 2012
Pacific lawyers challenged at meet
The 31st Pacific Islands Law Officers Network (PILON) annual conference in Kokopo, East New Britain province, saw more than 60 lawyers from Pacific Island countries, including New Zealand and Australia.
The two-day event started with an opening address from Justice Minister and Attorney General, Kerenga Kua, who stressed on the theme ‘Challenges and Strategies to Enhance Democratic Governance and the Rule of Law,’ stating that Papua New Guinea’s democracy, for the first time in its history, was stretched almost to breaking point during the recent political turmoil; but the country survived and finally ended everything at the polls this year.
“I believe that PNG has come out of these events with a strengthened ability to withstand such pressures and being better skilled and able to cope with such situations in the future,” he proudly said.
Incoming PILON Chair Dr Lawrence Kalinoe, who is secretary for the Department of Justice and Attorney General, welcomed all delegates and reminded the participants that as government lawyers, they had a crucial part to play in stregthening the rule of law and enhancing effective governance in their respective countries.
“We need to battle against corruption which eats away at the heart of good governance and the rule of law,” he said.
Discussions at the meeting revolved around the theme which included presentations by Professor Paul Rishworth, Professor of Law, Auckland University and Attorney General of Pitcairn Islands; John Nonggorr, constitutional lawyer and private practioner; Maurice Sheehan former Judge, PNG National Court; and John Toguata, development practitioner (anti-corruption), PNG-Australia Law and Justice Partnership.