Magisterial Services of Papua New Guinea

Magisterial Services was established in 1975 by Section 173(1) of the Constitution of the Independent State of ServicePapua New Guinea as a state service. It is constituted by a Chief magistrate as head of the magistracy who is responsible to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission for the efficient functioning and operation of the District Courts as the Lower Judiciary.
It comprises a Chief Magistrate, two Deputy Chief Magistrates, other magistrates, Registry court staff and support staff of the Finance, Administration, Information Technology and Personnel Divisions at its Port Moresby Armit Street Head Quarter. The Corporate Services facilitates running of its 70 District Court establishments and more than 400 gazetted court holding places in Papua New Guinea.
Historically, in January 2003 Magisterial Services as the administrative arm of the Lower Judiciary was mutually separated financially and administratively from the Higher Judiciary being the National and Supreme Courts. In 2003, the Service was for the first time funded by National Parliament separately from the Higher Judiciary.
It is also a member of the Law and Justice Sector that is focused on implementing The National Law and Justice Policy and Action of Action towards Restorative Justice.

The Office Of The Chief Magistrate

The Office of the Chief Magistrate is established by Section 175(1) of the Constitution. The Chief Magistrate is appointed by the Judicial and Legal Services Commission for a fixed term of 6 years and is eligible for renewal so long as he or she is not over the age of 60 years.

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Magistrates of the District Courts

Magistrates are legal professionals appointed by the Papua New Guinea Judicial and Legal Services Commission and by virtue of this appointment have judicial powers to perform judicial work in the District Courts.

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Clerk of Court


The Clerk of Court in the District Courts is a very important personnel. This personnel is resonible for the efficient operation of the District Court Registries. All District Courts have a Clerk of Court.

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