If judges know more, courts can do more on Fisheries cases- Sir Albert Palmer to regional Judicial meet

THE FOLLOWING IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE KEYNOTE OPENING ADDRESS BY SIR ALBERT PALMER
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SOLOMON ISLANDS AT THE FFA AND SI-HOSTED JUDICIAL SEMINAR ON FISHERIES,  25-27 July, 2016,
 Sir Albert Palmer, CJ of the Solomon Islands
(Opening greetings/salutations)
 
..... let me take this opportunity to thank you for coming and those of you representing your Chief Justices please convey our thanks to them as well for allowing you to come and supporting this very worthwhile and what I trust, will be a successful seminar for all of us.  Let me also take this opportunity to sincerely thank our co-host and funder of this seminar, the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries, the learned Director General, Mr. Movick and his very able and capable supporting staff, not to mention, Dr. Manu Tupou-Roosen and Ms. Pole Atanraoi-Reim, for their foresight, concern and desire to ensure that  judiciaries in the Pacific Region are properly apprised and equipped with relevant knowledge and skills in their judicial duties and functions when dealing with fisheries cases.  I well remember the last judicial seminar, if not, it was one of the first ones that was held and Sir John Muria, when he was Chief Justice then was also co-hosting the seminar.  I think that was in 1994.
 
I’m very pleased to co-host this Judicial Conference with the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency on a subject which I trust will be valuable to the work we do in terms of – Current and Emerging Technologies.
 
Ocean and our Fisheries Resources have always played a central role for our Pacific Islands people – in our culture, our food security and our economic development – as underlined by our Leaders.
 
However, we recognise that Illegal Fishing continues to be a major challenge in our region and threatens these core aspects.  So it is important to emphasise the following two fundamental points at the outset of our meeting:
 
First, given the central role it plays in our way of life, the protection of our fisheries resources is central to our Pacific Islands people. Whether you’re in the judiciary or working in fisheries we each have a part to play in ensuring that our fisheries resources are safeguarded.
 
Secondly, the cordial working relationship and cooperation between our countries continues to be our strength in protecting our resources, particularly given the highly migratory nature of tuna and the vessels that fish for them.  We can all share in the privilege and benefits of cooperation.
 
Our Courts play a key role in this effort to protect our fisheries resources and uphold the laws that secure and protect this limited resource.  It is necessary that we, the judges are provided with sufficient, admissible evidence that can assist us in our work, so that in appropriate cases, where a conviction has been sustained, adequate penalties can be imposed.
 
The Judicial Seminar I hope will allows us an opportunity to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the current technologies that are being utilised to assist in protecting our fisheries resources, as well as to be apprised of the new emerging technologies that could be used in evidence before us.  As well, we should be able to learn something about key fishing methods, and the challenges that could be encountered in the collection of crucial evidence.  We can collectively discuss these technologies and share views on the types of challenges that have been experienced in fisheries cases or with electronic evidence, or that is envisaged could arise from such emerging technologies.  We hope that these discussions and deliberations will also greatly assist FFA in determining any further work that may be needed to ensure that electronic evidence is adequately incorporated into laws, collected and presented in admissible form.
 
I invite you all colleague judges to embrace this unique opportunity to share your experiences and knowledge.  I know this is an easy request to you, given that sharing is integral to our Pacific tradition.
 
I look forward to fruitful discussions and wish you all God’s Blessings and Guidance for our meeting and a successful seminar.  --ENDS.