MARA to look into land court system

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MALAITA Premier Daniel Suidani says his government is committed to look into the land court system which continues to raise concerns on customary land.

He said as experienced, a lot of issues were raised on the system, where in certain cases, rightful landowners lost their land in court to those who did not own the land.

Suidani said the fact is the local court or the land court system is a foreign system and it doesn’t suit addressing the issues of customary land.

“An example is if a land case from the northern region and somebody from the southern region of the province is to preside and judge it, it doesn’t make sense.

“How would a person from the southern region or elsewhere know about land practices in the northern region to judge their land, it’s a funny thing. But, that’s the current system.

“Looking at the House of Chiefs or their land panels in the province, they can only operate within areas of governance or responsibility and not beyond areas of their non-existence.

 “The current foreign land court system becomes an issue and one way or the other, it contributes to disunity among families, tribes and communities as experienced,” he said.

Suidani said as a responsible government, it is high time to look into the current system by changing it with a land court system based on land practices and systems of Malaita.

He said the MARA government wants a reputable Malaita land court system that once they hear land cases and make decisions, that’s final, and not to go to local court or wherever.

Suidani said his government strongly believes that if a court system based on land practices and systems of Malaita is established, it will help address land related matters in the province.

He said his government is committed to the issue because of their concern for tribal lands, to set them in order and free of dispute for development in the province.

Suidani said it is not easy to pursue the idea, however, the MARA government sees this as the only way to address customary land issues in the province with confidence.