Oldiais Ngiraikelau is the new Chief Justice of the Palau Supreme Court.
He was appointed from the seven (7) nominee names submitted to President Tommy E. Remengesau by the Judicial Nominating Committee.
Oldias Ngiraikelau is currently the Associate Justice of the Trial Division of Palau Supreme Court, having been appointed by Remengesau in 2016. The Chief Justice position opened up after President Remengesau accepted Chief Justice Ngirakelsong’s resignation last month.
In his letter appointing Oldiais Ngiraikelau as the new Chief Justice, President Remengesau said that he was not surprised to see Ngiraikelau’s name as the top choice of the Judicial Nominating Committee’s official recommendation.
He added that since his appointment of Oldiais Ngiraikelau as Presiding Justice of the Trial Division in 2016, he had performed very well as a judge. “Your integrity and professionalism have further strengthened the reputation of our judiciary. It is with full confidence that I now appoint you Chief Justice” declared President Remengesau.
“Your predecessors, Chief Justice Nakamura and Chief Justice Ngirakelsong, set an incredibly high standard. They built public faith in our judicial system and as a result, you are inheriting a respected and highly professional Supreme Court,” expressed Remengesau.
He further urged Ngiraikelau to “take the helm, and to continue on the sound course charted by your predecessors.”
Justice Ngiraikelau in response to President Remengesau’s appointment expressed that he was “humbled” by the appointment and that the “solemn task is so much bigger than myself.”
Adding, Ngiraikelau wrote, “The high standards you speak of set by my predecessors, Chief Justice Mamoru Nakamura and Chief Justice Arthur Ngirakelsong, require much more than legal experience and and hard work. ..those standards require that my conduct as well as that of my colleagues, inside and outside of court, should enhance trust and confidence of the public in the impartiality, equality, and fairness of the judiciary.”
Ngiraikelau had 35 years of legal experience in courts of Hawaii, CNMI and Palau. In 2016, his name was submitted as one of the 7 nominees for associate justices of the Supreme Court. July 15, 2020 marked the fourth year of Ngiraikelau’s service as Associate Justice of the Trial Division of Palau Supreme Court.
With Ngiraikelau becoming Chief Justice, there will be a vacancy for an Associate Justice of the Trial Division and Judicial Nominating Committee will be searching for a candidate for this position.
Justice Ngiraikelau is just waiting to be sworn in before assuming the role of Chief Justice of the Palau Supreme Court and head of the Judiciary Branch of Palau Government.