Vanuatu justice system alive and strong, says President Lonsdale

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Vanuatu's President Baldwin Lonsdale (right) takes the opportunity to thank Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek for services rendered to the nation. Image: Vanuatu Daily Post

By Thompson Marango in Port Vila

When officiating the oath of a new Supreme Court judge this week, President Baldwin Lonsdale took the opportunity to thank Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek for services rendered to the nation in the 2015 judicial year.

“2015 was a challenging year for Vanuatu [and] we have witnessed that justice system is alive and is strong,” said the Head of State.

“We continue to encourage that justice always prevails in our nation, the Republic of Vanuatu.”

President Lonsdale was referring to last year’s history-making bribery case which landed 14 MPs in jail.

Four of the leaders jailed were State ministers.

Chief justice’s pledge
The case gained national, regional and international attention for Vanuatu’s judiciary.

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With the appointment of another judge, Lonsdale said he looks forward to the continuous support and cooperation in upholding the nation’s justice system.

In response, Chief Justice Lunabek thanked the President on behalf of the judiciary for the kind and encouraging words to the judges and also to the system of justice.

“I stand before you today on behalf of the judiciary to let you know that we can do what we can do, and whatever we can do we’ll try our best to do it better,” Lunabek assured the President.

Thompson Marango is a reporter with the Vanuatu Daily Post.

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