Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

140530 - HOM Speech - Opening of LTI auditorium

Friday 30 May 2014

Opening of the new Legal Training Institute Lecture Auditorium
Remarks by Australian High Commissioner, HE Ms Deborah Stokes


• Minister for Justice & Attorney General, Honourable Kerenga Kua MP
• National Capital District Governor, Hon Powes Parkop MP
• Chief Justice and Chairman of the Legal Training Institute Council, Chief Justice Grand Chief Sir Salamo Injia
• Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe Zerenuoc
• Public Solicitor, Mr Frazer Pitpit
• Public Prosecutor, Mr Pondrus Kaluwin
• Solicitor General, Ms Jubilee Tindiwi
• Vice Chancellor of UPNG, Professor Albert Mellam
• UPNG Registrar
• LTI Council Members
• President of PNG Law Society, Sir Kina Bona
• PNG Law society Council Members
• Senior Members of the legal profession and former trainees
• NCM Members
• Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me a great pleasure to be here on this occasion.

Australia is proud to partner with the Legal Training Institute, and to have funded the construction of this Auditorium.

I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on how much has been achieved by the Legal Training Institute since it formed more than 40 years ago.

I’ve been told that when it began in 1972, it was in a small building near the first Parliament House in down town Port Moresby. Then it moved a few times, each time growing in capacity. And now the Institute has this new facility we are officially opening today.

The Legal Training Institute is an organisation with a vision aimed at increasing the number of well-trained lawyers in PNG and the Pacific Region.

The Legal Training Institute started with only 6 trainees initially and this year it has 131.

Australia is proud to have funded almost 2.5 million Kina for the Auditorium and other infrastructure which includes the new lecture hall, five new offices, a new conference room and new kitchen. The new computer laboratory, IT and online access will also improve access to legal resources and materials.

While the building and equipment is important and allowing more students to be trained, the quality of training is as important.

Australia has supported the Legal Training Institute over many years to strengthen its capacities.

This has included supporting LTI’s review of the curriculum to ensure that the quality and standard of teaching materials meets international standards and best practices.

For 13 years the Australian Government has provided support to the annual Civil and Criminal Advocacy workshops provided on a pro-bono basis by members of the Victorian Bar,.

And in the past two years, we have supported the Criminal and Commercial Advocacy training provided, again on a pro-bono basis, by members of the Queensland Bar.
I note that Victorian Bar association members will be back here teaching at the LTI in July and that members of the Queensland Bar were here this week with the Centre for Judicial Excellence working with judges.

These are tangible examples of the strong and enduring links between our two countries.

And is very natural that Australia and Papua New Guinea have strong links in the law and justice sector. It reflects our common democratic heritage with its inherent respect for the rule of law.

I wish to acknowledge the very strong leadership of the LTI. It has been an important factor in its steady growth and achievements.

The Director, Ms Pauline Mogish, has headed this Institution for the last ten years. She was recognised early this year for her services to the people and law and justice sector with the award as an Officer of the Order of “Log-o-hu”. I acknowledge this achievement and congratulate Ms Mogish and her staff for their achievements.

Australia has a strong commitment to promoting gender equality.

In the law and justice sector, we know that women are more likely to approach law and justice services, especially at the frontline, if staff working at the facility are also women.

It is therefore particularly pleasing that 38 per cent of last year’s graduates were women and that there are 42 young women in this current cohort of trainees. You will add to the increasing numbers of women lawyers and magistrates working for Government, in increasingly senior roles.

But we also need men in the legal profession to play leadership roles in promoting and achieving fairness for women especially in relation to family and sexual violence.

I am pleased that these issues are being addressed as part of the LTI’s curriculum.

Finally, I wish to thank all of the individuals, groups and agencies for your dedication and cooperation and your contributions, in ensuring the completion of the LTI Lecture Auditorium over the past two years.

Congratulations to the leadership and management of Legal Training Institute, the Governing Council chaired by the Chief Justice, the Australian-funded PALJP team, and other partners in this achievement.

Thank you