New nominees for Appellate judges awaiting appointment
By: L.N. Reklai
(Koror, Palau) President Tommy Remengesau Jr. appointed Oldiais Ngirakelau as the new Associate Justice to the Trial Division of Palau’s Supreme Court, as authorized by Article VIII, Section 7 (4) of Palau Constitution.
Oldiais Ngirakelau, Palau’s top criminal defense attorney will fill in a vacancy left by Associate Justice Pate in April of this year. This will be the first time that the Trial Division will have an all Palauan judges on the bench.
Mr. Ngiraikelau was one of the 7 nominees sent by the Judicial Nominating Commission to the President Remengesau. A letter also from the Commission highly recommended Mr. Ngiraikelau for the position of the Associate Justice, stating that by law they had to submit 7 nominees but if that was not required, they would have just submitted Ngiraikelau’s name.
“I am very very happy that this nomination has been approved,” stated Chief Justice Arthur Ngirakelsong after receiving the copy of the appointment letter from the President on Friday.
The Judicial Nominating Committee has also submitted a list of seven nominees to fill the 2 Justices positions newly created for the Appellate Division. Included in the list of nominees are Attorney John Rechucher and former Associate Justice Barrie Michelsen.
These two justices positions were created when OEK finally appropriated funds to separate the judges of the Trial Division from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, in accordance with Article XIV of the Constitution. [/restrict]