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Former Papua New Guinea (PNG) chief justice Sir Mari Kapi passed away yesterday n in Singapore from kidney failure, aged 58, reports The National.
Sir Mari, from Keapara village in Central province, retired from active duty on the PNG judiciary bench last August citing poor health, after serving half of his 10-year tenure in the top judicial post since his appointment on Aug 16, 2003.
Sir Mari had left for Singapore a month ago for a kidney transplant that was to take place at the Raffles Hospital. He was the first national judge and became the third national to hold the office of Chief Justice.
At his official farewell ceremonial sitting last Nov 21, he was described by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, PNG Law Society president Kerenga Kua and Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat as “a top national jurist” and a “perfect role model” in the legal fraternity and judiciary for upholding the rule of law.
He was also known as an “oasis of calm and reason” who was conductive to highly intellectual exchanges between bench and bar.
Many in the legal fraternity and judiciary will remember Sir Mari for his “teachable spirit” to accept insistent submissions from the bar table but only if they were within the observance of the rule of law and established legal procedures and principles of natural justice.
Accepting a bombardment of admiration from well wishers over his achievements and impact while in the legal profession since the early 1970s at his official farewell, Sir Mari had modestly replied that whatever success he achieved was made possible by the support of people including judges in the Solomon Islands, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji he worked and interacted with over the years as well as the National Judicial Staff Services
SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
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