Proposed ‘Justice Precinct’ on the way
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
THE Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs (MJLA) is currently working on building a “Justice Precinct” for the nation’s courts.
This was revealed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr Paul Mae at the opening of the new courtroom at the High Court yesterday.
“From the MJLA point of view, this arrangement is considered temporary, as the Ministry is working hard towards the construction of the Justice Precinct,” Mae said.
He added the Justice Precinct, initially, proposed to house the Ministry’s agencies, to bring them closer to the court premises.
“However, the recent government has come up with a concept paper that aims to transform and modernise Honiara.
He said the idea is for government ministries and the various departments and agencies that fall within the same ministry to be housed in the same building.
“The government’s transformation and modernisation concept paper changes the original blueprint of the Justice Precinct.
“Thus, instead of looking at a three-story building, we are now looking at something higher than that,” Mae added.
He said the idea is to have all the MJLA agencies and some from the National Judiciary in the same building.
Mae further added that it is proposed that the Central Magistrate Courts will also be part of the precinct as well.
He said the precinct will be connected to the current High Court, making this part of Honiara the new hub centre for the judiciary and lawyers.
He stated a group of architects is currently in the city, holding consultations with the various ministries to contextualise the concept paper.
“We hope that architectural designs will follow soon.
“I assure you that all the agencies and the National Judiciary will be consulted when it comes to the architectural design of the precinct, as it will be the hallmark of the Ministry.”
Mae said it is also important to note that the reformation and modernisation of Honiara should not take our focus away from the other priority areas of the Ministry, especially in terms of infrastructure development.
“We’ve seen the deteriorating state of many of our courtrooms across the country.
“We cannot do much, with the National Judiciary having no development budget allocated for this financial year.
“However, nothing can stop us from planning and setting our goals for next year, or the following year, or whenever we can get the much-needed finance for the development of our infrastructures.”