The Chief Justice of Papua New Guinea has appointed Justice Key Dingake to head a task force composed of judges and court administrators, including the Registrar of the Supreme and National Courts of Papua New Guinea (PNG) to investigate causes of delayed justice and prolonged periods of pre-trial detention.
Justice Dingake, a former judge of the High Court of Botswana, is now a Judge of the Supreme and National Courts of PNG.
PNG, which is located in the Pacific, north of Australia, is one the fastest developing countries in the Pacific reputed for the independence of the judiciary. Like most developing countries, the country is confronted with many challenges around the efficient disposal of cases and aims at putting in place a world-class judicial case management system that can speed up in an efficient manner just disposal of cases.
The specific term of reference are:
identify causes of backlog of cases
identify causes of persons awaiting trails for lengthy periods in custody
Identify causes of reserved decisions
Identify causes why it takes a lot of time to attend to the reserved decisions
Identify dormant files, both criminal and civil
Identify factors and why they are dormant
Identify the reserved decisions
Identify the length of the reserved decisions
Identify solutions short term and long term to all issues raised above
Make appropriate recommendations to the Chief Justice to table before the JCM to deliberate and decide.
Dingake is expected to deliver the report to the Chief Justice before the end of the year.
This is not the first time Judge Dingake has been appointed to head a task force to do with improving the operations of the judiciary. In 2014 he was appointed by the former chief justice of Botswana to head a task force in the best financing model for the judiciary.
The judiciary in PNG is reputed for its high tech that enable judges to access information they need from their laptops from anywhere they may be.