Friday, 23 October, 2020
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, officially launched the National Judicial Services, e-judiciary services through satellite connectivity today at the National Court building lobby, Port Moresby.
He commended Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika and the staff of the National Judicial Services for working within a budget of K9 million to get connectivity to the satellite that will enable people in rural areas to access judicial services.
“Many senior members of the justice system had envisioned this day and the current Chief Justice had seen it to this stage.
“When I first met with Sir Gibbs Salika, he made it clear that e-judiciary was one of the main projects of the Judiciary that the Government must support.
“He said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, among the many things you dream for our country, this is the catalyst to make them possible, therefore, it must be supported up front,” Mr Marape recalled.
Mr Marape added that the success of the Judiciary in getting its e-judiciary systems up and running put the Executive arm of Government to shame for spending more than K9 million on other systems that had no visibility in the country.
“The Judiciary had raised the bar in the country by going into e-judiciary when so much of the world was doing business electronically.”
“At this time, Papua New Guinea was in the enviable position of being able to learn from experiences of countries which had already introduced reliable connectivity in their digital journey.
“Reliable connectivity is an essential prerequisite for e-government or e-court, and for delivery of services to our people in this digital age,” Mr Marape said.
The satellite connectivity established by the judicial services will not be confined to just the courts but will cover the whole of the law and justice sector.
This includes the establishment of an emergency network for Police which is already being used in the border provinces of East Sepik, West Sepik and Western provinces.
“The partnership between the courts and the Police will also ensure that there is a common platform of data and information technology infrastructure available for both the Police and the judiciary.
“There is no better place than to have expeditious delivery of law and justice sector services in our country,” Prime Minister added.
He also challenged the Commissioner of Police and the Pandemic Controller David Manning to ensure police carried cases that come across their desks to prosecution.
Judicial Services’ first case to be lodged electronically was at the beginning of the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
It also holding hearings virtually and will be setting up a specific courtroom of virtual court hearings.