President Moses Tallis has officiated the swearing in of Justice Richard Conway White before the call over of the Court of Appeal this week.
Justice White was appointed as Acting Judge of the Supreme Court for the purpose of Court of Appeal and this is his first sitting in the Vanuatu’s Court of Appeal.
In his official opening remarks, President Tallis expressed his pleasure to assist the Judiciary of Vanuatu in officiating oaths, which are significant steps that demonstrate maturity in its function and administration.
“It is indeed my pleasure to cordially welcome you and receive you this morning on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Vanuatu, and to congratulate you as the Supreme Court and the court of Appeal Judge of the Republic of Vanuatu.
“I also take this opportunity on behalf of the Chief Justice and the Judges, of the supreme court and judiciary to welcome you, Justice Richard Conway White particularly, to the Supreme Court of Vanuatu, and I do hope that your time here, although, only a short stay, will be mutually beneficial for you and the people of our country.
“I note you will be here for a period of two weeks for the Court of Appeal of Vanuatu, but I am sure you will find suitable time off to enjoy warmth of our friendly people. Furthermore, the Government and people of Vanuatu extend their heartfelt appreciation and I thank you for accepting to come and assist your colleague justices of the Supreme Court and especially the Court of Appeal of Vanuatu.
“Indeed, I acknowledge the notion of the Honorable Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek in utilizing the healthy relationship we have with the Federal Court of Australia, especially Judges who are willing to come when the Judiciary system of Vanuatu needs their service. Vanuatu not only acknowledges but also appreciates, your steadfastness and commitment of your leadership of the Judiciary of the Republic of Vanuatu as it continues to grow maturely, competent and be an independent judiciary.
“To the judges of the Supreme Court, I wish to commend you all on your conscientious efforts so far into assisting the judiciary of Vanuatu. the VCC Chairman, Ps Alan Nafuki, thank you for your prayers of blessings and AG Mr Kiel Loughman for administrating the oaths this morning.
“Once more, Justice Richard Conway White, congratulation and welcome to Port Vial, thank you for accepting this appointment and oath to serve the people of the Republic of Vanuatu.”
In 1982, his honour, Justice Richard Conway White commenced as a barrister at the Independent Bar, practising from Hanson Chambers in Adelaide. He was appointed a QC in 1997 and had a general practice working particularly in the areas of Common Law, Commercial Law, Trade Practices Law, Contract Law, Industrial Law, Insurance Law and Administrative Law.
Justice White was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia on 6 May 2004 and on 31 August 2013 was appointed as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia who is currently a sitting Judge.
Meanwhile, during the official opening of the judiciary Court for 2020, the Chief Justice, Vincent Lunabek also mentioned in his official address that the additional judicial resources are needed immediately, and he will canvass options with the government and donors in the first quarter of this year for assistance adding that without assistance, he has doubts of whether the Judiciary can address many of the issues raised in a timely manner.
He reminded the Courts that the resources needed to service this jurisdiction is much needed. He said that the Judiciary will strive to consolidate and optimize the gains from the judicial reform process towards improving the speed of delivery of judicial services and ensuring the fair dispensation throughout the islands of the Republic of Vanuatu.
One of those needs was justices of the Supreme Court after the departure of Supreme Court judge, Daniel Fatiaki.
Before Justice White’s appointment, Vanuatu had only 5 Supreme Court judges.