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Shaping Bougainville Justice: A model for other sectors

The establishment of a unique law and justice system for Bougainville is underway following the endorsement of the Shaping Bougainville Justice model by the recent Joint Supervisory Body meeting in Wabag early this month.

The Shaping Bougainville Justice program is a major policy and legislative development project designed by the Autonomous Bougainville Government to establish Bougainville’s own law and justice services, including the judiciary, justice administration, Ombudsman, police and corrective services.

ABG Secretary for Justice and Chairman of the Bougainville Law and Justice Coordinating Mechanism Kearnneth Nanei expressed his gratitude to the ABG’s technical team for their efforts so far in the process.

“The recent JSB endorsement of the Shaping Bougainville Justice project speaks highly of the excellent work done by the ABG’s technical team in developing a comprehensive work plan for the establishment of Bougainville’s own law and justice services, in partnership with the National Coordinating Mechansim,” he said.

The first step under the endorsed work plan is the establishment of the Bougainville lower courts which will be equivalent to the national district court and village courts.

The ABG Department of Justice held workshops in Bougainville following the Enga JSB, to review the National District Courts Act and Village Courts Act, to inform legislation on Bougainville Lower Courts to be prepared for consideration by the Bougainville House of Representatives before the end of this year.

“The workshops held this month with key stakeholders from the District Courts and Village Courts have identified a number of areas for improvement in the current laws that will be addressed in the ABG legislation to establish the Bougainville lower courts,” Secretary Nanei said.

He further said that specialist support will also be provided by the Government of Australia to assist with the design of the new system.

 “Establishing the Bougainville law and justice sector involves designing administrative structures for the new services but also developing the content for ABG legislation that will meet Bougainville’s specific law and order needs,” he said.

The Bougainville Law and Justice Coordinating Mechanism will meet with representatives from the National Coordinating Mechanism in East New Britain province next month to further advance the Shaping Bougainville Justice project.

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