The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Vanuatu, the Honourable Vincent Lunabek has hosted a workshop on Access to Justice, Enabling Rights & Unrepresented Litigants in Port Vila from 26 – 28 March, 2019. The Workshop on the first day was attended by members of the public with several court staff and judicial officers. The second and third day was attended by judicial and court officers. Dr. Livingston Armytage, Technical Director to Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative facilitated the workshop.
Participants at the Workshop discussed their experiences and perceptions of the courts, identifying the needs of unrepresented litigants as court users, identifying unmet needs of non-court users for justice and court services, and assess public satisfaction with services of the courts. The overall objectives of the 3 day workshop was to improve the quality of justice administered by courts to the community; to provide a process for court outreach and community engagement; to identify and address the needs of unrepresented litigants; to identify and address unmet legal needs by enabling rights for justice.
After listening to these experiences, court officers developed plans to improve access to justice and court services and publish public information on the courts in Bislama.
Public meetings were also conducted in the outer islands (Pentecost, Santo, Malo and Epi) to discuss perceptions about justice and the courts. These consultations form the report to the Honourable Chief Justice on all findings and several recommendations.
The Workshop is supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative (June 2016-July 2021).
The goal of Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative is to build fairer societies by supporting the courts in the Pacific region to develop more accessible, just, efficient and responsive justice services.
Chief Justice addresses the meeting in Port Vila
Wendy Raptigh – Court Training & Development Officer, March 2019.