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W-Province with high number of pending logging cases

WESTERN Province now faces a high number of logging cases pending especially on timber rights.

The actual figure for the number of cases was not available through process yesterday in the Magistrate Court in Gizo Town but it is confirmed by Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika that the number of cases is very high compared to other provinces.

According the Principal Magistrate, the cause for such pending is because of the need for grants to complete the CLC sitting over these logging cases.

He said time does not allow the Magistrate Court on one sitting as they try as much to put many cases within the limited days given.

“When given the estimate for one sitting which would be for five days or less, it does not allow us to complete the mass of logging court cases we want to dispose,” said the Principal Magistrate.

“If the numbers of logging court cases for one sitting are about fifteen then these are a huge amount of cases to be sitting with just for one week.

“So this is currently the situation that we are facing as the number of logging pending cases are supposed to be for another CLC sitting.”

The Principal Magistrate went on to elaborate that when logging cases come in terms of timber rights, this is when CLC cases go high because they are timber right cases.

“By delaying these CLC sittings then problems continue to arise from these situations because logging companies and landowners tend to go ahead and do operations without any proper authorisations from the court.

“It should be okay if there are allocated grants to allow us to carry out the CLC sitting within every month or quarterly a year or so,” said the Principal Magistrate.

The Principal Magistrate confirms that they have not yet received any confirmation from the Magistrate in Honiara for any CLC sitting at the moment.

Landowners from Vella La Vella who are still waiting for their timber rights cases had also expressed their disappointment to Island Sun Gizo yesterday, saying that it is under this same situation they are still waiting for their cases which is time, money and energy consuming.

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