The High Court will soon have two more judges joining the bench bringing the total number of judges to seven.
This will help reduce the delays in the hearing of cases and delivering of judgments.
One is a local judge while another is an expatriate judge who will be arriving next month.
The two judges will be funded under the Solomon Islands Justice Program to assist with the hearing and disposal of civil cases.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer said the old maxim ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ remains at the forefront of their minds to remind them of their core duty to deliver justice timely.
“This requirement to some extent has not been fully met in 2015 due primarily not so much to lack of adequate funding support and resources as to critical shortage of judicial officers at post.
“As a consequence, delays in the hearing of cases and delivery of judgments have not been a common occurrence.
“But let me assure the public that we have not sat back but have sought rigorously to address this issue and I am pleased to advise that in addition to Justice John Absalom Keniapisia’s appointment we will shortly be engaging another two Puisne Judges, a national and an expatriate judge.”
He was speaking at the opening of the 2016 legal year yesterday at the High Court.
“I wish to reiterate my thanks and appreciation to the Government of Australia through the Department of Foreign Affairs in responding positively to our request for assistance towards the disposal of civil cases, a diversion from the mainstream focus on criminal matter.
“I am quite hopeful in spite of the bad experience of lengthy delays that soon these should be things of the past as the year progresses.
“As the two new judges pick up the slack length of delays in the hearing of cases and delivery of judgments should also be reduced.
The chief justice said with the booming economy and an increase in trade and business activities and more investment opportunities the demand for legal and judicial services will experience a corresponding increase.
“We must continue to plan and build for the future and to be in a position to meet the increasing demands on our services.”
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN