District Court, Kerema

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PNG's judicial system consists of Village Courts, District Courts and the National Court which is the superior trial court.  Magisterial Services (established by section 173(1) of Constitution of Papua New Guinea) administers the District Court system within PNG, and there are 57 District Court establishments across the nation staffed by 88 magistrates and more than 500 court support staff. 

 

 

 

The District Court's key functional jurisdictions include:

  • Hearing of Civil matters (general civil and family court),
  • Hearing of Criminal cases (committal and summary),
  • Establishing Leadership and Administrative tribunals,
  • Hearing matters relating to Land (Local and Provincial Land Courts),
  • Conducting Village Court appeals and reviews,
  • Juvenile Criminal Court matters,
  • Pikinini (Civil) Court matters, and
  • Coroner’s Court

The District Court uses formal and informal approaches for settling grievances, particularly in the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Magistrates can also make orders for a community work order to be undertaken by a defendant who has been found guilty.  Where mitigating factors outweigh the aggravating factors, the defendant may be placed on probation with conditions for community work and/or payment of compensation. 

Contact:

Kerema District Court

PO Box 6, Kerema

Ph: 648 1267,  Fax: 648 1361

Ms Sarah Akia

Clerk of Court

Ph:  7125 9228


Village Courts, Gulf Province


Village Courts are an essential part of PNG's formal court system.  They are established under the Village Courts Act 1989 and the Village Court Regulations 1973.  There are more than 1,500 Village Courts across the country, supported by over 15,000 officials, including 900 women.  Each Village Court has 4-5 Village Magistrates (appointed by the Minister for Justice as judicial officers), 3-4 Peace Officers, and 1 Clerk.  Over 90% of people living in PNG have access to a Village Court, which have the jurisdiction to settle local disputes and deal with minor crimes using customary conflict-resolution approaches wherever possible.

Village Courts are the largest provider of restorative justice services in PNG, and are authorised to do the following:
  • Mediate disputes between individuals, clans or communities.
  • Encourage parties in dispute to use local conflict resolution processes such as the "Local Chieftain System" or "Community of Elders".
  • Convene a Full Court Sitting (if mediation fails or the parties do not want to use mediation) or convene a Joint Court Sitting if the matter involves people from different Village Court areas.
  • Issue formal Preventive Orders to stop further harm, damage or fighting offences.
  • Deal with minor crimes through mediation or court sittings.  The primary goal is to achieve an outcome that is acceptable to all parties and, if this cannot be achieved, the Court can make decisions and make orders (eg. fine, compensation, restitution, work order, etc.)
  • Ensure that Village Court orders are obeyed under the Village Courts Act 1989.  If defendants fail to obey these orders, the Court can issue an Imprisonment Order which then needs to be endorsed by the District Court.
  • Refer a matter to a higher court for serious offences outside the jurisdiction of the Village Court Act and Regulations.
  • Refer a matter to another service provider (eg. Department of Community Development).

Contact:

Mr Baker Maeva

Provincial VC Co-ordinator

Kerema, Gulf Provincial Administration

Ph: 7382 0739

Gulf Province has 50 Village Courts


Probation, Parole & Juvenile Justice Services, Kerema


CBC is an agency within the Department of Justice & Attorney General.  CBC has offices in every province across PNG and it plays a central role in developing and implementing restorative justice programs throughout the country.  It provides members of the community with access to community justice services which include the provision of non-custodial rehabilitation programs for both adult and juvenile offenders.  This assists offenders to re-enter society as responsible, productive citizens.

CBC is responsible for:
  • Drafting and submitting Pre-Sentencing Reports and Means Assessment Reports to the National and District Courts in order to assist the courts on appropriate alternatives to prison sentences for convicted offenders.  These alternatives could include probation, community service, mediation, restitution, compensation, counselling, rehabilitation or other diversionary strategies aimed to divert offenders from further misconduct.
  • Drafting Pre-Parole Reports in consultation with Correctional Services and the Parole Board.
  • Establishing links with government agencies, businesses, and NGOs to arrange short-term work assignments for offenders under Court orders.
  • Supervising and counselling of adult and juvenile offenders on community-based Court orders, and also parolees bound by Parole Orders to do community work.
  • Providing Courts with reports on breaches of court orders.
  • Conducing inspection visits of juvenile detention and correctional facilities

Contact:

Senior Probation Officer

Probation, Parole & Juvenile Justice Services

Dept. Of Justice & Attorney General

PO Box 92, Kerema, Gulf Province

Ph:  348 0958 or 7639 7267


Provincial Administration & Dept. for Community Development, Gulf


The Provincial Administrations across PNG have Community Development Branches, which provide services on behalf of the Department of Community Development.  The Welfare Officers and Child Protection Officers employed by the Provincial Administration administer the provisions of a number of acts, including the Laukautim Pikinini Act, Deserted wife & Children Act, Marriage Act, National Youth Service Act, and National Council of Women Incorporation Act.

Provincial welfare, gender & child protection officers provide the following services to the public:
  • Investigation and reporting of cases of abuse or neglect involving family or children (including domestic violence)
  • Assist with juveniles in the Police lock-ups and negotiate for their removal from the cells where appropriate
  • Deal with adoption applications and birth registration
  • Monitor employment of children in the workforce
  • Conduct counselling and mediation on all issues affecting families (particularly in relation to family conflicts, child abuse, adultery, and sexual assault/harassment)
  • Inspections of Child-Minding Centres and early childhood development programs
  • Conduct awareness programs to communities and attend school board meetings
  • Provide referrals in relation to custody & maintenance, adultery cases, & adoption

Contact:

Ake Maeaoka

Youth & Sports Co-ordinator

Community Development Branch

Provincial Administration

PO Box 216, Kerema, Gulf Province

Ph:  7343 4353, 72746019 or 7667 0469


Catholic Church, Kerema


The Catholic Church of Papua New Guinea is made up of 4 Archdioceses and 15 Dioceses in Vanimo, Altape, Wewak, Lae, Madang, Mt Hagen, Wabag, Mendi, Goroka, Kundiawa, Kavieng, Kimbe, Rabaul, Kerema, Daru, Aloutau, Berina, and Port Moresby.  The church runs numerous programs across PNG (regional contact details can be obtained by ringing the Port Moresby numbers below)

The church programs include:
  • Pastoral Service:  training, planning, monitoring & evaluation
  • Marriage Tribunal:  church marriage separations & related matters
  • Youth Ministry:  training
  • HIV:  awareness, testing, treatment & care
  • Drugs & Alcohol:  awareness & counselling
  • Family Life:  awareness, training & counselling
  • Social Apostolate:  skills training (sewing, cooking & handcrafts)
  • Remand & Rehabilitation Centres:  care, training & supervision
  • Women's Ministry:  all programs relating to family and gender issues
  • Family Services & Caritas:  counselling, skills training (literacy, farming, cooking, leadership, disaster relief, & integral human

Contact:

Joseph Puaka or Patrick Tava

Kerema Diocese

Ph:  648 1088, 648 1012 or 6481014

Justice & Peace

Ph: 648 1012

Health Secretary

Ph:  648 1062

Education Secretary

Ph: 648 1088


Salvation Army, Gulf Province


The Salvation Army is a Protestant Christian Church known for its extensive philanthropy and charity work.  It is an international movement in over 122 counties, including PNG, where it was established in 1956.  The Salvation Army runs numerous programs within PNG with the assistance of numerous volunteers.  Its head office is in Port Moresby with a number of branches across the Country.

The Gulf Province branch provides:
  • Personal awareness and literacy training programs (adults and children
  • Women & youth ministry fellowship
  • Child protection policy and services
  • Victims of family sexual violence counselling and support
  • Juvenile Justice advocacy in courts, children/defendants (court sittings, juvenile visitation and follow-up counselling)
  • Disaster relief and health services

Contact:

Major Leo Nalia or Martin Makeu

Salvation Army Gulf District

PO Box 132, Kerema

Ph: 6481384or 7349 8177

Mr Gini Kevin

Territorial Coordinator & Juvenile Justice Officer, 

Ph: 325 5507/22/07  or 7664 7461

Fax: 325 3534

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Caritas Papua New Guinea – Catholic Diocese Kerema


Caritas PNG is an agency of the Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) of PNG & Solomon Islands. They promote Integral Human Development of the grassroots citizens of PNG.The mission of Caritas PNG is to take active role in social justice, peace, ecology, and human development issues as part of the pastoral mission of the Church, promote Catholic Social Teaching, address injustice, inequalities, poverty and dependency which undermine human dignity, and be a voice for the poor and marginalized to build a better PNG. 

It operates through main goals: Integral Human Development (IHD), Disaster & Relief Management, Helping the Poor and Marginalized, Research & Advocacy, Child Protection, Gender Equality, Ecological Stewardship & Care of God’s Creation, Democratic Governance.

  • Community mobilization and action program – Cooperative Society/Community Association formations and trainings).
  • Leadership training for Village Ward Councillors, Village Courts, and Peace Mediators, etc. Peace-building (conflict management, restorative justice, conflict mediation/)
  • Women’s empowerment (economic, leadership, personality)
  • Community leadership training.
  • Youth formation program for delinquent youths.
  • Male advocates for peace and development in communities.
  • Counselling services for victims of gender violence/sexual violence, and other forms of emotional restoration.

Contact:

Archbishop John Raibat – Diocesan Caritas Coordinator

Kerema Catholic Diocese

P O Box 90,Kerema,  Gulf Province

Ph:  648 1012

Fax: 648 1088/62

Mb: 7663 3125

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National Youth Development Authority – Kerema, Gulf Province


The National Youth Development Authority is a government agency established to provide policy directives for the youth of PNG. It provides a framework for planning and program development for all agencies and organisations involved in youth development work. Inclusive in its policy area for stakeholders to develop and implement programs is Law Order and Justice with the objectives to promote, maintain safety, security and peace in communities.

  • Provide capacity building for stakeholders/program partners
  • Strengthen community policing programs at the Provincial, District and Ward level
  • Encourage community based peer leadership on crime prevention and restorative justice programs for young people
  • Educate young people on their Rights against abuse and violence
  • Indentify and market rehabilitation training programs
  • Establish partner with training and rehabilitation institutions
  • Maintain and monitor youth program/project

Contact:

Mark Avai - Gulf Provincial Administration

The Provincial Administrator

Gulf Provincial Administration, P.O.Box 89, KEREMA, Gulf Province

Ph: 648 1038

Ake Maeaoka

Advisor Community Development

Gulf Provincial Administration, P.O.Box 87,KEREMA,Gulf Province

Mobile:727 46019

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Nohoro Amaroa

Director Human Resource

Gulf Provincial Administration, P.O.Box 87,KEREMA,Gulf Province

Ph:6481037  |  Mob:7994 3327

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