New Zealander Howard Lawry has just been appointed as a High Court judge in the Solomon Islands.
The former Aucklander is no stranger to the country having lived and worked there since 2013 when he initially started as a legal advisor with the Police Prosecutions of the Royal Solomon Islands Police.
In fact, he’s no stranger to the Pacific region having also worked in Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Niue.
“I have spent a lot of my career in the Pacific, including a more than forty-year association with Niue where after graduating, I had my first job as a lawyer,” explains Mr Lawry.
“In working and living in the Pacific, my intention has been to give what skills I can to these communities.
“It is with real humility I acknowledge what I have received in return, how much I have learned from the Pacific and Solomon Islands in particular.”
Mr Lawry said he’s humbled to be appointed to the Bench of High Court of Solomon Islands.
“I am grateful for the past opportunities given to me to serve in the justice sector here for both the prosecution and the defence.
“I should say however that when I consider the size of some of the files that were placed in my chambers last week, I wonder what I am letting myself in for!”
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer, at a brief swearing in ceremony earlier this month, said Mr Lawry’s appointment is a welcome addition to the Bench when delays and backlogs of cases both in the civil and criminal divisions of the High Court continue to plague the work of the courts.
“His appointment will help to alleviate the current heavy work-load that the judges in the High Court shoulder,” said Sir Albert.
The Chief Justice also paid tribute to the sacrifice that Mr Lawry has made, remaining in the Solomons during Covid despite not seeing his wife since travel restrictions began several months ago.
“He has sacrificed a lot to serve our country and we are thankful to him for making that decision to remain and continue to serve in a new capacity on the Bench as Judge.”
Sir Albert said Mr Lawry brings with him a vast wealth of relevant knowledge, skills, and experience in both civil and criminal law work from New Zealand and the Pacific.
“His familiarity with the law and the work of the courts in this country places him at an advantageous position to contribute richly to the development of the law in the country.
“I am sure he will find little difficulty in settling down to his new working environment on the Bench.”
Mr Lawry graduated from the Victoria University of Wellington with a BA/LLB degree and was admitted to the Bar in New Zealand in 1983. He was in South Auckland Chambers before joining the Crown at Meredith Connell where he spent 14 years.
This article is based on a report originally published by the Solomon Star.