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Australia’s support to law and justice In Papua New Guinea

The rule of law and effective administration of justice are crucial to Papua New Guinea's long-term stability, security and economic growth. Australia has supported PNG's law and justice sector since the late 1980s and currently delivers this support through three pillars; the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership (PNG-APP), the Justice Services and Stability for Development Program (JSS4D) and smaller select investments in PNG's law and justice sector.

PNG-Australia Policing Partnership – PNG-APP

The current phase of the PNG-APP commenced on 1 January 2019 and will run until 30 June 2022 funded at AUD155million (PGK393.6million). The PNG-APP is a longstanding joint development program between the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP). The partnership currently consists of 42 Advisors and is funded for three and half years but is designed as a ten-year vision. The overarching partnership goal is for the RPNGC to be a professional, effective and trusted community-oriented police service. PNG-APP supports improvements in three RPNGC focus areas: Operations (including, but not limited to, gender-based violence); Training; and Corporate Reform and Enabling Services.

Justice Service and Stability for Development - JSS4D

Australia's law and justice program, JSS4D, is a AUD151million (PGK413.4 million) eight-year program (Jan 2016 - Dec 2023) that supports the delivery of effective and inclusive justice services across PNG. The program was extended in 2021 for three years at a commitment of AUD59 million (PGK160.4 million). Priorities include addressing family and sexual violence (FSV) and strengthening key justice mechanisms at the subnational level, such as Village Courts. Priority locations are the Highlands (Hela, Enga, Southern Highlands), Western, Morobe and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Other Law and Justice Initiatives funded by Australia:

  • Australia's Attorney-General's Department supports PNG's Department of Justice and Attorney General with legal and policy reform, and core skills training.
  • Federal Court of Australia Memorandum of Understanding on Judicial Cooperation with the National and Supreme Courts of PNG, through which two Australian Federal Court judges travel to PNG to hear Supreme Court cases for three weeks per year.
  • Australia's Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman supports the Ombudsman Commission of PNG to strengthen staff capacity in leadership, advocacy, complaints handling and investigations skills
  • UNICEF Juvenile Justice programssupport the Government of PNG and RPNGC to strengthen systems and processes to ensure timely registration of births and protect children as both perpetrators and survivors of crime.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross provides protection and supports services to vulnerable communities such as those affected by tribal and sexual violence, COVID-19 and those in detention.
  • Transparency International supports research, advocacy and civic education to encourage transparency in Government of PNG activities.
  • SPEAR – Supporting PNG's Effective AML/CTF Reform Program delivered by Home Affairs and AUSTRAC, works with PNG counterparts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
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