PRIME MINISTER MARAPE ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON POWER OF MERCY

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, has officially announced the appointment of distinguished and reputable Members of the Advisory Committee on Power of Mercy as established under the Constitution and the Organic Law on the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy.
 
The Advisory Committee on Power of Mercy is headed by the Chairman and Member for Goroka, Hon. Aiye Tambua, MP. 
 
Cabinet also appointed the following Members to the Committee comprising of:
  1. Christine Copeland - a Lawyer (Law Society);
  2. Dr. Lucy John - a Medical Practitioner with experience in Psychiatry (Health);
  3. Rev. Roger Josep - a Minister of Religion (Community Development); and
  4. Pastor Mollie George - a person with experience in Community Work (Civil Society).
Prime Minister Marape said: “The appointment of Members and Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Power of Mercy was made by Cabinet for a period of four years, commencing on and from September 1st, 2021; and their membership has been gazetted by the Head of State in the National Gazette No. G656 dated September 28th 2021.
 
“As a requirement under the Organic Law on the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy, at least one of the members of the Committee must be a woman. 
“I am proud to say that my Government has gone one step further by appointing more women than men in the total membership of the Committee, which demonstrates we are adhering to the promotion of the gender equality and empowerment of women in Papua New Guinea.
 
“Moreover, according to the Organic Law on the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy, the role of the Committee is to deal with very extreme cases of political concise and common criminals.
 
“In addition, consideration must be given to people who are of old age and in a serious infirmity, or suffering from unsound mind or some other disabilities including those on dead row or life sentences as well as women (mothers) prisoners. This Committee is a very important constitutional institution and my Government has finally approved the re-establishment of the Advisory Committee on Power of Mercy after 11 years of non-action by previous governments.”
 
The Advisory Committee on Power of Mercy comes under the Office of the Prime Minister and the National Executive Council, with Secretariat support provided by NEC Secretary. The Technical Advisory Services is provided by the Department of Justice through the Parole Board Secretariat. 
 
Prime Minister Marape said: “The re-establishment of the Advisory Committee on Power of Mercy after 11 years is my Government’s commitment to the institutional governance, accountability and transparency. The establishment of such committee completes the criminal justice system from the point of:  
  1. arrest to imprisonment; 
  2. release on parole;
  3. release on licence; and 
  4. release under Power of Mercy Committee.”
“Furthermore, my Government recognizes that many of these people are still entitled to the protection of number of human rights enjoyed by persons deprived of their liberty by order of a court of law. And my Government is adhering to these universal rights and freedoms by acknowledging the ‘power’of humanity of giving deserving people in our communities a ‘second chance’ to become effective members of our wider society.
 
“Such decision would send a good signal to the international community that we are complying with the international norms and conventions on universal rights and freedoms.  At the same time, we are telling them that our criminal justice system, especially the correction and rehabilitation of prisoners, is working and their rights and freedoms under the Constitution are preserved and can be granted to these deserving people if they behave well by serving their time lawfully and transforming their lives accordingly.
 
“I am therefore making this important announcement to the nation on the operationalization of this very critical constitutional institution so that the Committee can convene their first meeting forthwith.”