Guam – Guam Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Torres announced this afternoon [Wednesday] that Guam will host the 2010 Pacific Regional Judicial Conference (PRJC) from November 7 to November 10 at the Hyatt Regency Guam Hotel. The PRJC is a meeting of Chief Justices, other judges and special guests from the Pacific region (including Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea) to discuss matters of mutual interest.
The conferences have provided a forum for members of the judiciary throughout the Pacific to come together and discuss common issues. Among the recurring themes have been the independence of the judiciary; education of the judges; sharing of resources and materials; formation of a Pacific Island regional court of appeals; the use of expatriate judges versus indigenous judges; and the reconciliation of customary law and Western law. The conference is held every two years.
Guam will also be host to the Pacific Judicial Council (PJC), who, along with Advanced Science and Technology Adjudication Resource (ASTAR), will present the Pacific Asia Judges Science and Technology Seminar from November 10-12 at the Hyatt. The goal of this program is to provide regional judges with a basic scientific background in areas important to the Pacific Asia region such as psychopathy, substance abuse and addiction, climate change, and forensic science. The Pacific Judicial Counsel is composed of the judiciaries of the CNMI, Guam, the Republic of Palau, American Samoa, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
“It has been fifteen years since the Judiciary of Guam has hosted the PJC and we are ecstatic about its return to our island, particularly at this time, when we are at the cusp of significant changes to our political, socioeconomic and physical landscape,” states Chief Justice Torres, who also serves as President of the PRJC. “The education program for the Conference is unique because, while it includes topics ranging from judicial independence to judicial reforms, it is presented in a global context by judges and justices from the Philippines, Australia, Vanuatu, and the mainland United States, just to name a few.”
Over sixty-five (65) judges and justices from all over the region and the United States are expected to attend the PRJC and approximately ninety (90) judicial officers and Guam Bar Association members are attending the PJC Science Seminar, including participants from Australia, American Samoa, Brunei, CNMI, Chuuk, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Yap, Malaysia, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, the mainland U.S.A. and Vanuatu.