10 Feb 2005

PNG judge calls for action over backlog of cases

5:04 pm on 10 February 2005

A veteran judge in Papua New Guina says four Australian judges being brought in to help address the backlog of cases hardly have an effect.

The four judges will serve under the Enhanced Cooperation Programme later this year.

That will mean PNG will have its full complement of 25 judges under the its constitution.

Justice Timothy Hinchliffe says there should be a law change to allow more judges to sit in the country.

He says the appointment of the ECP judges is good but more needs to be done.

"I really believe that that is just scratching the surface because we are a population here of 5 million people and if you look at the number of judges that we have in say Melbourne, Victoria has a population of abour 4 million and the number of judges in the Supreme Court and the equivalent courts are far more high in numbers than we have here."

Justice Hinchliffe says there would also need to be better remuneration offered for judges if the law was changed to attract more people.