SYDNEY, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Papua New Guinea's (PNG) Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia has called for an increase in the number of the country's judges on Thursday, citing a recent expansion of the judicial system to a three-arm structure, with the addition of an appeals court.
Salamo said the judiciary needs an increase of 80 judges to fill new roles, and he will be submitting a proposal to the government to amend the National Judges Act and increase the current ceiling number of 42.
"It will take 60 to 80 judges to keep the new three-arm structure functioning in the country," Salamo said.
According to Salamo, the country's current number of judges is well below the internationally accepted average.
"New Zealand's population is one half the size of PNG's population, but they have over 150 judges - a ratio of one judge to around 50,000 people," Salamo said.
"PNG's ratio would be one judge to almost 200,000 people."
Salamo also pointed to a change in the nature of cases facing PNG courts, saying that 50 years ago the caseload in the Supreme and National courts was 30 percent civil and 70 percent criminal.
"Now it has been reversed - 30 percent criminal and 70 percent civil," Salamo said.
"However the number of judges is half the required number."