Paclii gets lifeline through PNG funding

1:18 pm on 6 September 2017

Papua New Guinea has agreed to provide funds to allow an online Pacific legal service to continue operations.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Pacific legal website, or Paclii, is operated by the University of the South Pacific out of Vanuatu, collecting and publishing legal material from 20 Pacific countries.

The open-access website's future was in doubt since last year when an Australian government funding agreement expired.

Now PNG's judiciary has signed an agreement with the USP for financial assistance to maintain Paclii.

According to The National, PNG's chief justice Sir Salamo Injia signed on behalf of the Department of Justice to provide 150-thousand US dollars for the USP to continue Paclii.

Sir Salamo said the website had become a vital tool for the work of lawyers and judges in PNG.

He described the database as very important to the law and justice sector across the region.

The PNG government is also to provide US$30,000 annually from next year.

Sir Salamo recalled how PNG played a major role in the establishment of the website during the mid 1990s.

The Director of Paclii, Dr Anita Jowitt, said free access to legal information was critical to the rule of law and Paclii provided that in its publications.