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Safety, security, and accessible justice : participatory approaches to law and justice reform in Papua New Guinea

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): East-West Center

Author(s): Rosita MacDonald

Series: Pacific Islands policy ; 3

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)
Justice (Legal procedure)
Law and ethics (Local government law)

Type: Report

Coverage: Australia Australia


Rosita MacDonald examines the challenges facing the law and justice reform partnership between Australia and its former colony Papua New Guinea (PNG). Serious safety and security issues confront PNG, with the incidence of violent crime increasing and the capacity of the law enforcement, court, and prison systems to deal with offenders deteriorating. MacDonald acknowledges the challenge of implementing institutional reforms appropriate to the PNG cultural and political context, and highlights the fact that measurable and sustainable reforms within the law and justice sector have failed to occur despite a substantial investment of resources from both governments. Law and justice policy in PNG should shift, she says, from the official rhetoric supporting traditional and community-led approaches to a greater investment by the PNG and Australian leadership to restorative justice approaches, the village court system, and under-utilized community organizations.