Government appoints first High Court Judge

Government News

Issue No. 01/2021 – Monday, 11 January 2021 (Kitiona Tausi)

Government has created a new position for a High Court Judge and has also appointed an outsider to be the first Tuvalu High Court Judge. Sources from the Ministry of Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs told Tuvalu Paradise this morning that Sir John Baptist Muria has been appointed to the position.

Sir John Baptist Muria is a Solomon Islands Judge and was the first indigenous Solomon Islander to be Chief Justice of the Solomon Islands.

Muria was Chief Justice of the Solomon Islands from 1992 to 2003. He then sat as a judge on the courts of Sierra Leone from 2003 to 2006, sitting on each of the High Court of Sierra Leone, the Court of Appeal of Sierra Leone, and the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone. In 2007, the Commonwealth Secretariat facilitated Muria becoming a justice of the Supreme Court of Belize, where he remained until 2010. Muria has been the Chief Justice of the High Court of Kiribati.

Muria was appointed as the Chancellor of the Solomon Islands National University, which was officially launched on 18 April 2013.

Experienced Chief Justice with a demonstrated history of working in the judiciary industry. Skilled in International Law, Policy Analysis, Legal Assistance, Government, and Dispute Resolution. Strong professional with a Master’s Degree focused in Law from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

Sir John Baptist Muria will be stationed on Funafuti and arrangement is being made for his travel to Tuvalu in the very near future.

The High Court Judge will be responsible for presiding over High Court sessions and his availability in Tuvalu will enable High Court cases dealt with promptly.

In other judiciary news, Tuvalu’s Chief Justice is yet to be appointed and in the meantime, Chief Justice Gordon Ward has been appointed as Acting Chief Justice until the appointment of a new Chief Justice that will happen after Chief Justice Charles Sweeney’s court appeal against the termination of his appointment by a Parliament resolution

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