Department of Justice & Border Control

The Department of Justice and Border Control is an integral Department within the Government sector. Amongst its functions is to uphold and protect the Constitution of Nauru as well as the rights of its citizens, provide legal advice to the Government and act in the interest of the Republic in civil and criminal litigations. The Department of Justice and Border Control has become one of the largest Departments in the Government sector due to the wide array of responsibilities within its mandate, including legal issues arising out of the operation and administration of the Regional Processing Centre.

Our Motto

Serving the Republic with care and pride

Our Vision

We will apply our country’s laws with fairness, justice and transparency. We will without fear or favour, provide accurate and timely legal advice, litigation and law and justice information to the Government and people of Nauru. We will also protect the Republic from illegal immigration, serious fraud and from pests and diseases.

Our Mission

DJBC is committed to the highest standards of ethical behaviour, excellence and professionalism in the delivery of legal services to its clients, users and counterparts. Underpinned by international laws and Conventions and respect for the rule of law, Nauru’s legal system ensures a secure, stable and peaceful community.

Sections

The Department has the following sections:

Justice Policy & Acts PDF FormOffice of the Secretary for Justice and Border ControlOffice of the Solicitor GeneralThe Office of the Legislative DrafterOffice of the Curator of Intestate EstatesBusiness Registration, Business Licensing, Security Licensing, Import Licensing and Beneficial Ownership DivisionCorporations, Partnership, Associations and Trust Registration DivisionIntellectual Property DivisionCitizenship and Adoption DivisionOffice of the Director of Public ProsecutionOffice of the Public Legal DefenderOffice of the Human RightsFinancial Intelligence UnitQuarantine DivisionDog Management & Control UnitCorrectional ServicesImmigration DivisionPassport DivisionJBC Events

The Office of the Secretary for Justice and Border Control (JBC Secretariat) as the main office is the engine room of the whole Department. This is where:

  1. the instructions, decisions, recommendations and requests of the Secretary are disseminated from;
  2. Sections of DJBC submit action and budget proposals; 
  3. the final endorsement for any proposed activity that is to occur within the Department is attained; and 
  4. the finance and administration of the Department is centered.

The JBC Secretariat has supported the smooth running of all Sections under DJBC by ensuring that:

  1. resources to assist effective work performance are available and in full supply;
  2. all key positions are advertised and filled; 
  3. leave credits are readily available for employees to plan and apply for the types of leave available to them; and 
  4. the financial status of JBC is able to accommodate work that needs to be executed. 

An amount of AUD5,443,439 has been secured as the DJBC budget for the fiscal year July 2021 to June 2022. This enables the DJBC Sections to implement work plans efficiently with the sufficient availability of approved funding.

The budget execution rate for the whole of the Department for the financial period 2020 to 2021 was 100 %.

During the reporting period, there have been several positions filled in the Department ensuring a full and stable provision of justice and border control services to the public. The renewal and / or replacement of office equipment such as desktops, office desks, chairs as well as restocking of stationery ensures that the staff are working under optimal conditions with the necessary resources to achieve the best results.

Our Team

PositionName
Secretary for Justice & Border ControlJay Udit
Senior Personal AssistantBlossom Tsiode
Director Finance & AdministrationAngelina Itsimaera
Assistant Director Finance & AdministrationLetima Adire
Clerical OfficerVACANT

Objectives

  • Manage logistics, procurement and maintain asset control.
  • Ensure full capacity of human resources within the department.

Motivation

Without administration there is no control. Without funds, action is limited.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen and develop the institutional capacity of the Nauru Public Service

Cross-Goal 2

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

Capacity Building

Knowledge building and upskilling is one of the highest priorities of JBC to complement institutional strengthening and ensure that the services provided are efficient and consistent.

  • In November 2020, Letima Adire and Lisa-Marie Solomon commenced a one year Professional Diploma in Business Management course at the University of the South Pacific . Lisa-Marie has attained a Certificate in Justice. 
  • In July 2020, Marilyn Deireragea completed her UU100 unit at the University of the South Pacific. 
  • In January 2021, Surely Kamtaura completed her legal professional studies at the University of Waikato (online). 
  • In January 2021, Lisa-Marie Solomon, Lisi Tsiode, Febony Detenamo, Kosak Kosam, Katherine Belong, Taesha Aliklik and Regina Deidenang commenced their studies in the Pleaders Course 2021 to 2022. 
  • In February 2021, Marilyn Deireragea commenced her UU114 unit at the University of the South Pacific which she will complete in July 2021. 
  • In April 2021, Deborah Togoran commenced her 5 year LLB course at the University of the South Pacific. 
  • In June 2021, Francilia Akubor graduated with a Professional Diploma in Legislative Drafting from the University of the South Pacific. 
  • In January 2021, Jeruska Togoran was awarded an Australia Scholarship Awards to study law (LLB Degree) in Australia.

Restructuring of the Department

DJBC has undergone an overall restructure which saw the reclassification of 79 positions and reorganisation and creation of 17 Sections. This restructuring has ensured more employment opportunities for any person interested to work in the services provided for in the justice system and border control as well as created a career path for capacity building and professional development. Furthermore, the restructure will enhance performance and productivity in that the roles and expectations of officers have become uniformed and straightforward.

Way Forward

  • The JBC Secretariat faces many administrative challenges having 17 Sections to manage and oversee. However, restructuring was the first step to solving the problem so that it is easier to monitor and evaluate the progress of the Department as a whole.
  • It is envisaged that policy reform will gradually take place to positively facilitate and support the maintenance of staff attendance rate which currently is at 85% on average.
  • The Secretariat anticipates a monitoring and evaluation system that will increase productivity of services provided by each Section. Currently, every head of Section are required to submit weekly reports on the progress of the specific work plans that were presented at the beginning of the year.   

For a long time, the Office of the Solicitor General comprised mainly of the Solicitor General, a Pleader and a clerk. With its limited capacity, the Office often needed to engage lawyers working in the other Sections of the JBC Secretariat on an ad hoc basis to assist with the work, especially with appearances in Court. With the recent expansion of the Office, it has seen the following achievements:

  1. The appointment of the new Solicitor General who leads the Section under the revised structure. Initially introduced to Nauru as the Deputy Solicitor General, Ms. Bhavna Narayan successfully manages the Office and mentors her young team of legal practitioners and paralegals in the field of civil litigation on behalf of the Republic.
  2. Ms. Surely Grace Kamtaura a local law graduate from Waikato University in New Zealand completed her online Professional Legal Scores Program and has been recently admitted to the Nauru Bar. She is a new member of the civil litigation team which now comprises of 2 legal officers along with Ms. Patricia Grundler.
  3. The Section is also joined by a paralegal officer, Ms. Ofa Fay Temaki who is in charge of file management and other clerical work in the Section.
  4. Opportunities for legal training has been extended to Ms. Taesha Aliklik, an intern working with the Justice Department under the Department of the Chief Secretary’s Student Internship Program (SIP). Ms. Aliklik is also undertaking the Pleaders Course 2021 and has the advantage of observing and gaining experience in the law profession field she is studying in the Pleaders Course.

The improved structure has stimulated smoother operations and anticipates higher expectations in advancing internal processes to better achieve the Office’s objectives.

In the course of the reporting period, there have been 8 significant civil cases against the Republic represented by the Office of the Solicitor General. These were in relation to claims against the Republic, the Republic’s claim under the Housing Scheme and appeals against the decisions of the Nauru Lands Committee (NLC). 

Our Team

PositionName
Solicitor GeneralBhavna Narayan
Personal AssistantTaesha Aliklik
Principal Legal Officer (Civil Litigation)Vacant
Senior Legal OfficerVacant
Legal OfficerPatricia Grundler
Legal OfficerSurely Kamtaura
Pleader (Civil Litigation)Jeruska Togoran
Paralegal (Civil Litigation)Ofa Fay Temaki

Objectives

  • Represent the Government and its entities  in civil litigation
  • Provide legal advice to the Government and its entities in relation to contract and interpretation of the law

Motivation

The Republic is not immune from legal action.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

An important highlight of these cases was on the issue of the requirement for the consent of the Cabinet, for example  in the case of Benjamin v Nauru Police Force [2021] NRSC 2; Civil Suit 2 of 2019 (12 January 2021). This was a matter in which the Plaintiff had made a claim in tort against the Republic. The Office applied to strike out this action on the basis that the plaintiff filed the action without having obtained prior consent of the Cabinet as required under the Republic Proceedings Act 1972. The Court held in favour of the strike out application on the basis that it was barred from hearing the matter as the required Cabinet consent was not obtained. 

The Mobit v Nauru Police Force [2021] NRSC 1; Civil Suit 21 of 2019 (12 January 2021) is another matter in which the Plaintiff filed an action in tort against the Republic without obtaining the consent of the Cabinet. However, the Plaintiff argued that the action was in relation to seeking declaratory orders only and therefore did not seek to enforce a claim against the Republic. The Office argued that it was an attempt to circumvent the requirement for  Cabinet consent under the Act. The Court held in favour of this argument and dismissed the action.

Way Forward

  • The Office intends to improve its system further. Whilst the team of legal practitioners strives to maintain their case files in a satisfactory order and also prepares a monthly report on the case files, currently all documents are kept as paperwork. Going forward, there is a need for the Office to start keeping electronic records as part of its file management system to enhance the security of the Office’s files. This is also to secure the records of the numerous legal advices provided by the Office to its stakeholders.
  • The Office will set up a data-sharing database whereby the Office’s cases are recorded and all documents in each case file can be uploaded and safely stored. The advantage of having a data-sharing database is that every member of the team will have access to the electronic database. This will allow each legal practitioner in charge of a matter to upload information on the status of their cases and all other members of the team will be able to access the database to get updates on each case. This will also allow future access of case files and records of legal advices by incoming incumbents.

The Office of the Legislative Drafter is primarily tasked with the following:

  1. drafting legislation;
  2. drafting standard policies and procedures;
  3. publishing and revising laws; and
  4. implementing government policies.

Approximately 24 bills were drafted and passed by the Parliament during the reporting period of July 2020 to June 2021. Two were substantive and new legislation as follows:

  1. Environmental Management and Climate Change Act 2020; and
  2. Registration of Associations Act 2020.

Twenty nine regulations were drafted which  included 22 substantive regulations and 7 amendment regulations were approved by Cabinet.

One of the main functions of the Section is to manage the stock of legislation for the Parliament, Government, business companies and citizens. RONLAW is Nauru’s online legal database which is administered by the legislative drafting team.  The publication of Acts and Regulations, Bills and explanatory memoranda on the website has remained consistently up to date for public and official use. So far, there are over 700 laws that are in place and can be found on the Database.

Our Team

PositionName
Director Legislative DraftingVacant
Senior Legislative DrafterKerryn Kwan
Legislative DrafterMele Tagivakatini
Pleader (Legislative Drafting)Marilyn Deireragea
Paralegal (Legislative Drafting)Starison Engar

Objectives

  • Ensure institutional strengthening  by drafting the laws

Motivation

Without laws, there would be chaos

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

  • The Environmental Management and Climate Change Act 2020 was passed by Parliament on 23rd October 2020. This Act makes provision for the      management and protection of the environment, climate change, the promotion of sustainable development, to facilitate compliance with the Republic’s international and regional environment related obligations and for related purposes.
  • The Registration of Associations Act 2020 was passed by the Parliament on 23rd October 2020. The Act creates an enabling environment for the registration of associations, makes provision for corporate governance, financial accountability, regulates and promotes cooperation with other local or international organisations, communities and the Government and monitors their activities and for other related purposes.

Way Forward

In the coming year, the Legislative Drafting Section aims to:

  • Complete the Law Revision and Consolidation Project.
  • Work on reviewing a number of ‘older’ legislation to ensure consistency with more recent legislation [For example, Criminal Procedure Act 1972 and Quarantine Act 1908] and drafting new legislation to replace the same.
  • Work on repealing spent and redundant legislation.
  • Work on ensuring that Nauru’s laws are clear, readable and readily accessible.
  • Strengthen coordination between the Section and other agencies.
  • Carry out training on legislation at the request of departments
  • Improving legal research on the basis of legislative drafting to improve effectiveness.
  • Review the drafting mechanisms to keep laws in harmony and consistent.
  • Updating the Legislative Drafting Manual to keep it current and in conformity with legislative drafting principles.
  • Work on improving the Section’s publication function [RONLAW].

The Office of the Curator is the custodian and distributor of the estates of persons who die intestate. The Office is responsible for:

  1. writing to employers of deceased persons for all monies such as entitlements and pending salaries to be transferred to the Curator’s account;
  2. following up pending rental payments of concerned  estates to the RONPHOS, the Regional Processing Centre (RPC), Nauru Utilities Corporation (NUC) and Government of Nauru;
  3. receiving and keeping payments in the personal estates account of deceased estates according to Section 11(a) of the Succession Probate and Administration Act 1976;
  4. raising payment and sending to concerned beneficiaries bank accounts after 21 days of gazettal;
  5. formulate and disseminate Curator notices in accordance with Section 37 of the Succession Probate and Administration Act 1976; and
  6. update the Curator registry.

In carrying out their main functions of distribution from July 2020 to June 2021, the outcome is as follows:

  1. supervision of payments amounting to AUD84,763.15 were paid from the estates of deceased persons to beneficiaries. These were made according to the terms stated in the respective gazette;
  2. a total of AUD640,118.78 was deposited into the Curator Account with Bendigo Bank from RONPHOS, Nauru Utilities Corporation, Nauru Rehabilitation Corporation, Government (for land rentals, land leases, aerodrome land rentals and final entitlements), Royalties & Regional Processing Centre Corporation land rentals;
  3. curator fees totaled a maximum sum of AUD20,000; and
  4. the Ledger and the Curator PV Registry is up to date on the records of deposits and withdrawal postings.

Our Team

PositionName
Curator of Intestate EstatesBrenda Soriano
Curator Clerical OfficerFebony Detenamo

Objective

  • Distribute to the concerned beneficiaries all monies, personalities and realties of the estate of deceased persons  in accordance with the gazette and the law.

Motivation

Without ownership there is no claim.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

The Office of the Curator has embarked on positive steps to provide honest and transparent trusteeship to the people of Nauru. The Curator Work Plan is designed to cover efficiency and sufficiency for the curator system and capacity building as follows:

Record keeping and file management

To complement the existence of an estate register, the Office is looking at formulating a database for sufficient record keeping, tracking and keeping the estate files and records up to date. This means that the system will gradually become more computerised to modernise work methodology in keeping information intact and accessible.

Expansion

With the recruitment of the Clerical Officer, the Office is now sufficiently manned ensuring a swift process and system that is able to accommodate client needs and enquiries.

Capacity Building

Capacity building and community education are two main components that the Office is focusing on to strengthen the facilitation services provided and to enable community members who are estate beneficiaries to ask the right questions when in doubt.

Accessibility

There are plans to open a savings account for beneficiaries to estates of deceased persons who are under the age of 18. These accounts can be accessed once the children have reached the age of adulthood.

The Curator Work Plan is designed to work in line with the Department of Justice and Border Control Strategic Plan 2015 – 2025.

Way Forward

There are several estates that are pending payments due to various reasons such as :

  1. court injunction in relation to estates that are under dispute in the courts; and
  2. overseas payments that are overdue to estates that are yet to determined by the Nauru Lands Committee and the Court.

The Office will continue to notify the public of relative updates as well as inform beneficiaries of the legal requirements that must be expected in such situations.

During the 2020 to 2021 reporting period, the Registration and Licencing Division (R.LD.) have worked tirelessly to execute their objectives mandated under the Business Names Registration Act 2018 and the Business Licences Act 2017.

These laws have provided the legislative framework that cater for the nature of businesses in the Nauruan context supporting small and micro enterprises that contribute to and maintain a stable national economy of Nauru which at current stands at a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita at USD8867 in 2020.

The following data reflect the number of registrations, licensing and certification of  businesses, security firms and beneficial ownership that have been successfully processed out of 690 applications:

  1. 342 businesses have successfully renewed their licences totaling AUD116,400 in revenue whilst 104 new business names have been registered with AUD32,400 revenue. These applications comprise 76% out of the total applications processed by R.L.D. equating to a revenue of AUD 398,800;
  2. 19 security firms have renewed their licences and 13  have received licences after registration.  There is a total of 32 registered security firms, 4 being corporations and 28 owned by local proprietors.  This stand at 4% of the total applications received by the R.L.D. The relative revenue is AUD16,000;
  3. 11 transfer of licences from former proprietors to new proprietors have been approved bringing in AUD4,400 while there have been 16 variations of licences issued totaling AUD4,800. Variations occur when amendments need to be made to the nature of business, proprietor details or business location;
  4. there have been 44 late submissions of applications which has incurred late fees of up to AUD8,800;
  5. 5 licences were cancelled while 2 have been ceased;
  6. 19 beneficial ownerships are now registered;
  7. 5 RPC licences have been issued equating AUD250,000; and
  8. the total revenue for business licences is AUD398,800.

Our Team

PositionName
Paralegal (R.L.D)Camellia Renzo
Business InspectorKosak Kosam

Objectives 

  1. Enforce the laws on business and corporation registration.
  2. Monitor and track the registration of businesses and corporations and issue licences accordingly. 

Motivation

Without business, there is no economy.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Econ-Goal 5

Promote development of small and micro enterprises, foreign investment and economic integration into the global economy.

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

The work of the Registration and Licencing Division  has immensely contributed to the positive development of economic growth in Nauru by regulating the registration and licensing of businesses. Since its establishment, the nature of businesses reflected in the application forms have expanded and thus allowing 690 businesses to register and attain operational licences to conduct 49 different types of businesses with the inclusion of security firms.

The current reform in relation to business registration laws has succeeded in improving  the business environment by maintaining minimum costs of registration and licencing. This has encouraged an increased rate of business registration and licencing, guaranteeing full rights to the proprietors in ownership of their business names abd logos as trademarks.

In turn, the Section plays a crucial role in supporting the fight against poverty, fostering investment and job creation by supporting the private sector.

Business is known to be the engine of an economy, providing jobs that allow people to make money by selling goods and services that people can buy with the money that they make.

Business registration reform is one of the essential first steps toward the growth of the private sector which has certainly had optimal impact in aiding economic empowerment for the people of Nauru.

Way Forward

The Business Registration, Business Licensing, Security Licensing, Import Licensing and Beneficial Ownership Division will continue to enable legal protection for business owners by:

  1. improving business regulations to  promote economic growth;
  2. providing accessible processes to register businesses and issue licenses without discrimination or bias;
  3. inspect and monitor business licenses so that businesses are authentically licensed; and
  4. minimize payment of late submission fees for businesses by disseminating warning letters of impending expiration of business licenses.

The Corporations, Partnerships, Associations and Trusts Registration Division was established under Section 11A of the Public Service Act 2016 on 14th May 2021 as per Gazette No. 333/2021. Evidently, this is a very young Section of DJBC. Therefore, it is important to firstly understand its significance in order to comprehend its function.

A corporation is a separate legal entity that has the same rights as a natural person and can incur debt, sue and be sued. It is a complex business structure with higher set up costs and administrative costs. Officers of the corporation are obliged to comply with corporation laws such as the Corporations Act 1972 and Corporations (Forms and Fees) Regulations 2018.

A partnership is an association of people who carry on a business as partners or receive income jointly. It is relatively inexpensive to set up and operate whereby control or management of the business is shared and you and your business partner(s) are personally liable for all debts and obligations of the business.

A trust is an obligation imposed on a person known as the trustee who can be a company or a natural person. A trustee holds property or assets for the benefit of others who are known as beneficiaries. Operating a business as a trust means that the trustee is legally responsible for the trust’s operations.

The Division is responsible for the registration, supervision, enforcement and control of corporations, partnerships, associations and trusts in the Republic. It includes the:

  1. Corporations subdivision;
  2. Partnerships subdivision;
  3. Associations subdivision; and
  4. Trusts subdivision.

The Division is an administrative filing agency with 2 main functions:

  1. formalising the legal standing of a corporation, partnership, association and trust by accepting and indexing the filing or registration; and
  2. supplying information and certification of a corporation, partnership, association and trust.

The powers of the Registrars of the various subdivisions is vested in the Secretary for Justice. This has been set forth under the following legislation:

  1. Partnership Act 2018;
  2. Trusts Act 2018 and Trusts (Forms and Fees) Regulations 2018; and
  3. Registration of Associations Act 2020 and Registration of Associations (Forms and Fees) Regulations 2020.

Our Team

PositionName
Registrar for CorporationsJay Udit
Deputy Registrar for CorporationsVacant
Paralegal (Corporations, Partnerships, Associations and Trust Registration)Vacant

Objectives

  • Provide Corporations, Partnerships, Associations and Trusts with the legal right to operate in the Republic.

Motivation

Business is about customer relations.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Econ-Goal 5

Promote development of small and micro enterprises, foreign investment and economic integration into the global economy.

Cross-Goal 2

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

The establishment of the Corporations, Partnerships, Associations and Trusts Registration Division is in itself a great achievement. Before the creation of the Division, the registrations were handled by the Business Registration, Business Licencing, Security Licencing, Import Licensing and Beneficial Ownership Registration Division.

DJBC saw the need to create a specific section to put in place a specific and comprehensive process for the registration of corporations, partnerships and associations as well as trusts by incorporating a much required structure for efficient operation.

Since June 2020 until to date, 9 new corporations have been registered and 28 corporation certificates have been renewed. In summary, 37 corporation certificates have been issued for this reporting year with a total revenue of AUD120,000.

The Division provides a service to the people of Nauru and other potential clients with access and opportunity to other avenues of business opportunities which is envisaged to enhance and support micro business development which in turn will contribute to the macro business environment and impact the general business cycle.

Way Forward

  1. The Corporations, Partnerships, Associations and Trusts Registration Division, as a new Section of DJBC will mainly focus on recruiting new officers for the newly established positions of a Deputy Registrar and a paralegal.
  2. Capacity building and policy development for the smooth operations of the Division are on the priority list to ensure that the service is productive, efficient and sufficient.
  3. Awareness programs are part of the plan that is being formulated such as information sessions and workshops to advise key stakeholders and relevant agencies so that there is sensible collaboration and cooperation on registering companies, partnerships, associations and trusts.
  4. A suitable monitoring and evaluation mechanism will be put in place to identify gaps and challenges that may emerge and enable the tailoring of feasible solutions of any issues.
  5. 100% service delivery is the target of the Division to cater for valuable clients.

Since 2019, the Department has made tremendous efforts to establish a favourable environment for the creation and protection of intellectual property rights and strengthening of the administration of intellectual property in the Republic. This has resulted in the development of intellectual property rights laws and the creation of the Intellectual Property Division.

Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Copyright relates to the economic and moral rights subsisting in that creation. A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application. A trademark means any mark which is registered under the law and is capable of distinguishing goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services dealt with or provided by any other person.

The Division is responsible for the administration of the following Acts:

  1. Copyright Act 2019 which provides for copyright in literary, musical and artistic works, audio-visual works, sound recordings, broadcasts and related purposes.
  2. Trademarks Act 2019 which establishes the legal framework for the registration and protection of trademarks and for related purposes.
  3. Patents Registration Act 1973 which provides for the registration of letters of patent and of applications for letters of patent, and for the privileges and rights exercisable in Nauru upon such registration.

Our Team

PositionName
Registrar of Intellectual PropertyJay Udit
Assisting the Registrar (Interim)Mele Tagivakatini
Assisting the Registrar (Interim)Patricia Grundler
Pleader (Intellectual Property)Vacant
Paralegal (Intellectual Property)Vacant

Objectives

  • Protecting creations of the minds such as inventions, literary, artwork, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce.

Motivation

Own what you create. Protect what you own.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

On 11 May 2020, Nauru became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation commonly known as WIPO. It has also acceded to a number of Conventions in intellectual property.

During the annual reporting year, the following Regulations were approved by the Cabinet, which supplements the Trademarks Act 2019 and the Patents Registration Act 1973:

  1. Patents Registration (Forms and Fees) Regulations 2020, which was notified in the Gazette on 22ndSeptember 2020. In order to ensure that inventions are protected, the Regulations were made which:
    1. provides the procedure and process for lodgement for registration of an invention, examination of an invention and registration of a patent;
    2. provides the forms;
    3. provides the fees; and
    4. provides the details for the process of and maintaining of records in the Register of Patents.
  2. Patents Registration (Appeals) Rules 2020, which was notified in the Gazette on 5thOctober 2020.
  3. Trademarks (Forms and Fees) Regulations 2020, which was notified in the Gazette on 10th November 2020. These Regulations provide the forms, fees and form of Register of Trademarks. Trademark registration is important as it gives the owner the right to use a mark in respect of goods and services covered by it. This will in effect prevent the unauthorised use of a trademark.

 Way Forward

  • The Division is taking all relevant steps to strengthening intellectual property rights, administration and management. This is to ensure that there is ease of access to applicants and stakeholders alike.
  • The Division will continue to endeavour to ensure timely delivery of intellectual property services by strengthening its manpower. Further, the Division is working on creating a digital environment for improved functioning and service delivery. 
  • The positions under the Division are new creations. It is envisaged that appointees to the posts in the Division will undergo training and capacity building that can be accessed through WIPO.
  • Public awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights will be facilitated by the Division so that the people know the process on how to register an invention or creation as well as a product mark.

Citizenship Subdivision

Citizenship application has become a streamlined process since the Naoero Citizenship Act 2017 was introduced. However, it was not always the case. The obvious change that came from the 2017 Act was made to remove any controversial issues that might be considered discriminatory.

Pre-2017, a non-Nauruan man married to a Nauruan woman is required to stay within the marriage for a period of 10 years before he is eligible to apply for citizenship. The disadvantage was that a husband found it difficult to be employed in order to help support his wife and family. However, a non-Nauruan woman married to a Nauruan man, is granted instant citizenship. 

The 2017 Act has motivated a more transparent citizenship process and promotes gender equality whereby the  requirement is 7 years of continuous marriage for both.

There are several possible grounds of application under the Act: citizenship by birth, citizenship by birth in the Republic and residency, citizenship by descent, citizenship by marriage, citizenship by adoption and citizenship of minors.

Adoption Subdivision

The function of the Adoption Subdivision is mandated under the Adoption of Children Act 1965.

Adoption applications are initially received by the Family Court whose responsibility is to oversee that all necessary documentation are attached and the form is appropriately filled out by the relevant parties to the adoption application. The Court will then submit applications to the DJBC where the paralegal and assisting officers are charged with preparing the cover letter and Cabinet Submissions. After completion, these documents along with the adoption application will be submitted to the Minister for Justice and Border Control to present in the Cabinet. Ultimately, the Cabinet decides whether to consent to the adoption proceeding and not appear at the adoption hearing OR oppose the adoption application and appear at the adoption hearing to make submissions regarding the opposition.

There were 14 applications processed by the Division.

Our Team

PositionName
Paralegal (Citizenship, Adoption, Trust and Seabed Wylie Detenamo
Assisting OfficerCamelia Renzo
Assisting OfficerKayla Akua

Objectives

  • Facilitate the process for persons who apply for Nauruan citizenship,  adoption of children pursuant to the Naoero Citizenship Act, 2017 and the Adoption of Children Act 1965, respectively.

Motivation

Without nationality, there is no identity, without that there is no recognition.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

The ultimate achievement of the Citizenship and Adoption Division is the establishment of an up to date archive register.

The register will ensure accuracy of records which will protect those who have been granted citizenship from deportation as well as provide certain benefits such as family reunification, eligibility for public service employment, freedom to travel as a Nauruan citizen and derivative citizenship of children to be recognised as Nauruans when their parent or parents become citizens. 

Such a register is also crucial for the Adoption Subdivision as information storage for adopted children for future reference and auditing purposes.

Maintaining an efficient archival system guarantees accessibility of records for users of such data and information with the likes of the election committee in updating the election rolls for the purpose of voting and candidacy; the Department of Social Services in providing social welfare benefits to appropriate persons for disability pensions, elderly pensions student assistance funds and the Department of Education in the selection of scholarship awardees.

In the context of Nauru, adoption often occurs within families as a gesture of assisting couples who are unable to have children on their own. It is seldom done for reasons that a parent is unable to raise a child. Thus in the past the realisation of formal adoption was not recognised by Nauruan families as essential as it occurred between family members. However, with the rising legal issues of inheritance that adopted children face today, evident by significant number of relative court cases, families are beginning to realise the importance of legal adoption and are taking the necessary actions to secure the future of their children.

Way Forward

In the new annual year, the Division will:

  1. promote and conduct training and awareness on citizenship rights and responsibilities;
  2. improve on its record keeping;
  3. work on transitioning from a paper based environment to a digital environment; and
  4. improve data accessibility , information sharing and workload management capabilities.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) continues to perform its role under its mandate, pursuant to Section 45 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1972 which is generally to represent the Republic in criminal proceedings.

As a Section within the DJBC, the ODPP functions in harmony with the overall Strategic Framework for the Department whereby its purpose statement is:

The ODPP reviews and where appropriate prosecutes criminal cases following investigations by police, fisheries and other relevant agencies and instrumentalities. They are also charged with advising police and other departments in matters relating to criminal offences. They consider whether there is sufficient evidence and assess the public interest related to the matter in order to determine a requirement for prosecution.

During the reporting period, the ODPP has prosecuted a number of 30 criminal cases resulting in 18 convictions and 12 acquittals.

There are 24 cases at the District Court of Nauru and 38 cases at the Supreme Court of

Nauru that are pending to be heard and determined.

Three criminal cases on appeal have been heard and resolved at the Supreme Court  and one is pending. Five appeal cases remain pending at the Nauru Court of Appeal and one is yet to be listed.

The latter part of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 saw a significant increase of remand applications which indicates the increase in bail of applications. This is attributed to the amendment to the Bail Act 2018 which lists bailable offences that require proof of the existence of ‘exceptional circumstances’. Seven cases are subject to pre-trial bail applications whilst one bail application is pending appeal.

The most prevalent offences that are seen in the trend of criminal statistics are  intentionally causing serious harm and attempted murder.

In late April 2021, ODPP welcomed a new fleet of expatriate prosecutors to the team. They were admitted to the Nauruan Bar on 18 May 2021 and recently appeared in the Supreme Court of Nauru for the first time. The lawyers bring with them over two decades of combined criminal prosecution experience that will benefit our criminal justice system.

Our Team

PositionName
Director of Public ProsecutionsRonald Talasasa
Principal Public ProsecutorVacant
Senior Public ProsecutorFrancis Diloi
Public ProsecutorSaif Shah
Pledger (Prosecution)Vacant
Paralegal (Prosecution)Kori Itsimaera

Objectives

  • To represent the Republic in criminal proceedings.

Motivation

Prosecution is criminal deterrence.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

ODPP Handbook

ODPP is working on its Handbook for the Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions which will set out the general principles for the initiation and conduct of criminal prosecutions. Over the recent years, there have been substantive reforms of the criminal justice system. This includes changes to legislation, case law, procedures and policies. The Handbook will ensure fair and effective prosecution that aims to maintain law and order and the proper functioning of the criminal justice system.

Pacific Island Law Officers Network

Nauru is a member of the Pacific Island’s Law Officer’s Network (PILON) along with 19 other Pacific Island countries. PILON’s strategic plan for 2019 to 2021 include action plans involving corruption, cybercrime and sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) which all have specific working groups. Nauru is an active member of all 3.

The Cybercrime Working Group has developed the PILON Mutual Assistance Handbook: Cybercrime & Electronic Evidence relating to obtaining material through mutual legal assistance relating to criminal proceedings in one country at the request of another.

The SGBV Working Group is currently developing explanatory material for the Model Provisions on special measures for vulnerable witnesses that were developed in 2019.

The Corruption Working Group have published the ‘Framework for Prosecuting Corruption in the Pacific: Experiences, Challenges and Lessons Learnt.’

Way Forward

  • The ODPP aims to complete the Handbook for the Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions  by the end of 2021  so that it can be utilised to enhance efforts of maintaining a robust criminal justice system and improve procedures where required.
  • It will strive to continue working with its counterparts from the region through the PILON program to develop an appropriate legislative framework in relation to Cybercrime, SGBV and anti-corruption.

The DJBC initiated a policy in order to satisfy Article 10(3)(e) of the Constitution, where accused persons have the right to be legally represented in court. As a result, free legal services are now provided to citizens and residents of Nauru.

An increase in personnel and resources in the following years paved the way for the legal establishment of the Office via the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2016.

As the legal literacy rate in Nauru improved, the Office encountered an increase in enquiries, requests and handling of cases in areas of criminal, family and civil laws.

Litigation of criminal, family and civil cases in the Nauru courts remained the prime activity of the Office during the Reporting Period.

The Office has also been assisting in the preparation of statutory declarations, certification of documents, witnessing of affidavits, drafting of letters, brokering correspondences and general advice on criminal, civil and family matters for Nauruans on island and abroad.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to overseas training, workshops and meetings, staff of OPLD attend Webinars such as the Pacific Judicial Strengthening Initiative on Legal Aid where the Director proposed for a regional Legal Aid body to be established, in order to address and discuss issues and challenges facing Legal Aid offices.

Our Team

PositionName
Director of Public Legal DefenderRavuanimasei Tagivakatini
Principal Public Legal DefenderVacant
Senior Public DefenderThomson Lee
Public DefenderFrancilia Akubor
Pleader (Public Defender)Vacant
Paralegal (Public Defender)Lisa Solomon
InternRegina Deidenang

Objectives

  • To provide free legal services to the citizens and residents of the Republic of Nauru.

Motivation

Do not be economical with the truth.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

Office Policy Guideline

An Office Policy Guideline has been drafted by OPLD in order to address issues that the officers face. Once it is implemented, it will clearly demarcate the boundaries of the Office and will be adhered to strictly.

The Guideline will help to prevent misunderstanding and lack of communication among OPLD staff, eliminate hasty, unrefined decisions in personal matters and assure uniformity and fairness throughout the practice.

It also aims to provide useful information for the provision of legal aid services within OPLD, aiming to prescribe substantive legal aid policies and processes.

Continuing Legal Education

On 27 November 2020, the Director facilitated a session of the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) initiative for the Nauru Law Society. The presentation aimed at building the knowledge of legal practitioners on legislation that were amended on 23 October 2020 such as the Bail Act 2018, Criminal Procedure Act 1972, District Court Act 2018, Supreme Court Act 2018, Nauru Court of Appeal Act 2018 and Oaths, Affirmations and Statutory Declarations Act 1976.

Way Forward

  • The goals for 2021 and beyond are to address the above challenges and continue improving in the relevant areas. The Office Policy Guideline, which has been in its draft stages for more than 6 months, is currently at its concluding stages and once approved by the Secretary for Justice, it will provide much-needed guidance for the daily operations of the Office.
  • Awareness has mostly been done by word of mouth but we intend to educate the public about the Office and also about the recent changes in the law, especially the Bail Act 2018. The public needs to understand the gravity of these offences and that incarceration is almost inevitable now. Hence, the Office is intending to conduct awareness via Nauru Radio and to speak to secondary school students on the above issues.
  • Capacity building remains an important goal for the Office, so it is imperative that Nauruans are able to access legal courses and legal training. The Office will continue to play its role in this aspect, especially with the 2021 Pleaders Course.
  • The Office strives to continue its progress into a more efficient service provider and the onus is on all officers to maintain and improve the expected standard.

One of the key mandates of the Office of the Human Rights (the Office) is to coordinate and assist human rights treaty reporting as well as Universal Periodic Review (UPR) reporting that identify the DJBC as the focal institution. DJBC is responsible for reporting on the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. During this reporting period, the Office:

  1. assisted the Department of Persons Living with Disabilities in completing the final draft for the Initial State Report to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities after being 7 years overdue;
  2. coordinated the 3rd Cycle Universal Periodic Review for the Republic of Nauru by completing and submitting its National Report, engaging in the Review and responding to the 3rd Cycle UPR Recommendations. This will form the basis of the 3rd Cycle UPR Recommendation Implementation Plan also known as UPR RIP. This will be formulated and disseminated to specified departments to include in annual operation plans or as new project proposals;
  3. worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to stabilise the function of the Working Group on Treaties (WGT) as the national monitoring, implementation, reporting and follow-up mechanism;
  4. put forward human rights advices in relation to selecting Human Rights Council Resolution for the Role of Good Governance in the Protection of Human Rights; Contributions of Parliaments to the HRC and UPR; the human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Realizing the Equal Enjoyment of the Right to Education by Every Girl. It is always essential to share the national views of Nauru with the international community to maintain our sovereignty;
  5. contributed to the Report of UN Special Rapporteurs in responding to the Questionnaire on the Accountability of gross violations of human rights and serious violation of international humanitarian law in the context of transitional justice processes. These exercises show Nauru’s compliance to processes that it has obligated itself to by being members of the UN or by declaring its support at the UPR;
  6. collaborated with the Office of the Legislative Drafter to formulate the National Human Rights Commission Bill which is now in its final stage of endorsement;  and
  7. assisted the Office of Public Defenders with family cases whereby 1 divorce case was resolved and 5 cases of maintenance, enforcement for maintenance, custody of children, adoption and divorce remain pending with the Family Court.

Our Team

PositionName
Director for Human RightsVacant
Pledger (Human Rights)Stella Duburiya
Para Legal (Human Rights)Katherine Belong

Objectives

  • Work with key agencies on monitoring, implementing, reporting and following up on human rights efforts in Nauru.

Motivation

Human Rights are constitutional rights.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 2 & 4: Social & Community / Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 2

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Soc-Goal 5

A just society that recognizes and respects the rights of women and children, that promotes equal opportunities.

Achievements

A UPR Recommendation Implementation Plan (UPRRIP) based on the recommendations put forward by the UPR Member States at the 2nd cycle was finalised and endorsed by the Secretary for Justice and Border Control in December 2019.

In preparation for Nauru’s UPR which was initially scheduled for November 2020, the Office assisted the Permanent Mission of Nauru to Switzerland on the selection of the Troika which was to officially take place on 14 January 2020. Troika is a group of three Council Member States which facilitates the UPR of a particular State.

In  May to June 2020, the Office of the Human Rights conducted the Key Stakeholder Consultation for the collation of the 3rd Cycle Universal Periodic Review State Report for the Republic of Nauru. Drafting and finalisation of the Report was completed in September 2020 meeting its submission deadline.

In February 2021, the UPR for Nauru was conducted via zoom with the facilitation of the Permanent Mission to Nauru in Geneva, Switzerland and the UPR Secretariat.

Recommendations from various states were posed to the Republic to which a response reflecting Nauru’s stance on each different recommendation was reverted by March 2021.

This is the first UPR report to be drafted and the first UPR to be facilitated under the tenure of a local head of section for the Office of Human Rights with the assistance of the JBC Secretariat.

Way Forward

  • The Office of the Human Rights is doing its best to put in place a process that will ease the UPR process and human rights treaty obligations that it is responsible for. Currently, it is drafting the national monitoring, implementation, reporting and follow up manual that will clarify a working system for the collection of data and information on human rights efforts of the Republic of Nauru.
  • The addition of the Director of Human Rights in the new DJBC structure will ensure that there are more hands on deck to achieve the objectives and arrive at favorable outcomes of what needs to be done.
  • Completed Training and Technical Assistance            (TA&A) virtually. This training is an annual event            of Asia Pacific Group on Money  Laundering and            Nauru attended. Taken steps to prepare the Re     public for its second Mutual Evaluation in 2022.
  • Taken steps to be in partnership and becoming a member of the EGMONT Group.
  • NFIU is liaising with other NFIUs for bilateral agreements such as NZ and Taiwan NFIU for exchange of information.
  • In 2012 Nauru NFIU went through its first Mutual Evaluation process and the Republic was confirmed to be low risk jurisdiction for Money laundering.
  • NFIU is working closely with Nauru Police Force and the Nauru Revenue Office for law enforcement requests for financial checks and additional information. 
  • The Financial Investigation training was provided under the Asia Pacific Group On Money Laundering Technical Assistance and Training Program. Republic of Nauru is a member of the APG and hence qualified for technical assistance. The training was fully virtual over 4 days and a pilot one with Nauru being the first to receive this training. The training was delivered by a consultant hired by APG and was the first multi-law enforcement training to develop capacity for Nauru LEA’s. Officers from the Nauru Police Force, Nauru Customs, Nauru Revenue Office and the DJBC participated in this training. The virtual delivery was very successful, with the Nauru FIU coordinating the training which was hosted at the Nauru Police College. The NFIU and the APG were thankful to the Nauru Police Force for offering the facilities. 
  • The APG Technical Assistance and Training Program is an annual event funded by Donor Agencies. We expect more specialised training similar to the Financial Investigations Training in order to enhance the capabilities of our Law Enforcement Agencies as well as working in collaboration.

Our Team

PositionName
Supervisor Financial Intelligence UnitRajas Swamy
Assistant Supervisor Financial Intelligence UnitRogous Aingimea
Financial Intelligence Unit OfficerVacant

Objectives

  • Supervise financial institutions in accordance with anti-money laundering laws
  • Analyse reports of suspicious activities in relation to money laundering and terrorism.

Motivation

Without financial control there is money laundering.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 1 & 4: Economic Sectors

Cross-Goal 2

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Econ-Goal 7

An effective, competitive and stable financial system that will enhance economic growth and development.

Achievements

Bilateral Cooperation with AUSTRAC

The new NFIU Supervisor commenced duties in June 2020 and started liaison with AUSTRAC on the possibility of sharing information including suspicious matter reports raised by Bendigo Bank Agency of Nauru. In August 2020 the Nauru NFIU successfully signed a letter of Bilateral Cooperation with AUSTRAC. This was historic itself since there was no other bilateral agreements in place and this was the first.

Currently the NFIU is liaising with other NFIU’s for bilateral agreements for information exchange:

(a) NZ NFIU; and

(b) Taiwan NFIU.

Suspicious Transactions

Under the bilateral arrangement, AUSTRAC has submitted a total of 140 Suspicious Matter Reports (SMR’s) to date. The NFIU team is currently looking into these SMR’s and requested further information from Bendigo Bank through AUSTRAC

Law Enforcement Requests

The NFIU received the following requests for financial checks and additional information:

The NFIU has been working closely with the Nauru Police Force (NPF) and the Nauru Revenue Office (NRO). NFIU holds MOU with both the agencies for exchange of information hence works in collaboration.

Way Forward

  • The main priority for the NFIU is to ensure that preparations are well coordinated for the Mutual Evaluation in 2022-2023. NFIU will continue to liaise with APG and domestic stakeholders to ensure a successful Mutual Evaluation. The NFIU will work towards the NFIU becoming a member of the EGMONT Group and work towards this has commenced.
  • The NFIU will work with key stakeholders in developing domestic AML (anti money laundering) policies within their respective organisations. Also the NFIU will issue respective guidelines to financial institutions and sectors that fall within the definition of a financial institution under AML Act 2008.
  • The NFIU will embark on an awareness program for all stakeholders. This is to ensure that each stakeholder understands the AML/TF (anti money laundering / terrorist financing) framework of the Republic, the consequences of ML/TF (money laundering / terrorist financing) offences and the negative effect it can have on governments and societies.
  • Just like EGMONT, there is a project currently undertaken by AUSTRAC and APG for the formation of the Pacific FIU Group.
  • It is imperative that the NFIU strengthens its stakeholder engagement and establish a strong networking environment both domestically and internationally. We must create a culture of collaboration in combating transnational organised crime which has no borders.

The Quarantine Division (the Division) (formerly known as the ‘Quarantine’) is the Division that is responsible for protecting Nauru borders from the entry and spread as well as multiplication of pests and disease-causing organisms. Furthermore, it is the first line of defense in the border protection system for Nauru against the incursion of alien species that could prove detrimental to the environment and potentially cause endangerment of natural plant and animal species. 

The Division is divided into 2 subdivisions which are:

  1. Trade/Airport Operations ; and
  2. Seaport operations.

The Division oversees incoming cargoes both at the seaport and airport providing conditions, requirements and procedures to ensure the safe movement of plants and animals into  Nauru.

For the past year, the Division has not confiscated any food or food products but seized them at the borders and handed over to Health inspector for further action. The Division seized 160 Bamboo poles which were disposed by burning as bamboo is prohibited in Nauru.

For the past year, 12 traps were used at different locations in Buada District. 3 types of lures were used: Trimed Lure, ME Lure and CUE Lure. Traps are collected every 2 weeks. Some traps were damaged or a person may have moved or emptied the traps which would have resulted in the number of flies trapped.

Type of FlyNumber of Flied Collected
B Cucurbita Melon Fly1860
B Fraunfeld Mango Fly37,358
Bactocera xanthodes Pacific Fly115

The Yellow Crazy Ant Project consisted of dissemination of public awareness materials such as brochures and information sheets throughout the communities. The Project was aimed at assisting the Division to monitor the dangerous species to which none has yet been found on Nauru.

Due to current travel restrictions that have been imposed during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, certain international workshops such as the Pest Diagnostics Workshop was postponed to a later date. Despite the set back, a virtual introduction of participants was conducted allowing a forum for quarantine officers to exchange thoughts and ideas on the subject.

Our Team

PositionName
Director of QuarantineSheba Deireragea
Principal Quarantine OfficerAmy Tsitsi
Senior Quarantine OfficerTremaine Dick
Quarantine OfficerKazna Benjamin,
Pat Cook,
Kane Akubor,
Link Uera,
Normal Cook,
Wilkes Deiye,
Zac Detenama,
Kyle Bretch
Clerical OfficerSimon Khazimen

Objectives

  • Ensure safe imprt and export that does not alter the Nauru environment or harm the livelihood of the people of Nauru.

Motivation

Protecting the people from pests and diseases. 

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 2

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Cross-Goal 7

Sustainable use and management of the environment and natural resources for present and future generations.

Achievements

Maintaining a COVID free Nauru

Nauru Quarantine collaborates with other border protection agencies in border management. The interactive efforts between these instrumentalities has become more than essential during these times of the Corona-virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Section faces many challenges especially when taking precautions to disinfect incoming cargoes, shipping barges and equipment for the safety of Nauru. In being vital front-liners in the COVID-19 ‘Capture and Contain’ movement, the Section has played its part in keeping Nauru COVID free.

Increase in Revenue

Seaport and airport activity has been hectic with the arrival of cargo ships and freighter flights. Along with the reinforcement of dog licencing under the Dog Management and Control Act 2017, revenue was boosted to a total of AUD83,900.

Capacity Building

Earlier in 2021 the Department of Commerce, Industry and Environment facilitated a Food Safety Workshop especially for quarantine officers on understanding food preparation and living a healthy lifestyle.

It is significant to note that four (4) officers are enrolling in Foundation for Agricultural Science at the University of the South Pacific.

Way Forward

With the burden of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Quarantine Division will continue to strive in safeguarding our borders from disease-causing organisms and pests by:

  1. Undertaking tasks and expected responsibilities as active members of the COVID-19 Taskforce.
  2. Secure more training for the capacity building of personnel to further improve the performance and outcome of the Quarantine Division.
  3. To target a budget execution rate of ore than 90% as a key indicator of maximum implementation of budgeted work plans.

The Dog Management and Control Unit was established on 14 May 2021 [refer Gazette Notice dated 24 May 2021]. Although the Dog Management and Control Act 2017 has been  in existence for 4 years, its implementation has greatly improved with the appointment of a new Director and provision of resources.

Under the coordination of the Director, dog control supervisor and the dog control officer, the Unit works closely with the Correctional Services. Volunteer prisoners are tasked to assist the unit in administering the dog poisons at areas cited as common gathering places for stray or diseased dogs that are unregistered.

The stray dog population has decreased drastically since the operation was re-implemented in mid 2020.

Dog owners were given an opportunity to register their pet dogs at a discounted fee of AUD20 each in September 2020 to enable a maximum number of dog registrations.  This saw the registration of over 500 dogs.

The last number of dog licence that was issued was 943, this will be the number of dogs licenced since we have started using the tags. 

The dog registration fee has gone back to AUD100 per dog and AUD200 for dangerous dogs. 

Capacity building is an essential part of developing the Unit as it is comprised of new officers since its re-establishment and shift to JBC. With the arrival of the dog poison to be used in the management of stray and diseased dogs, the officers have been properly trained to correctly and cautiously administer the poison which is toxic and fatal to dogs but not to humans.

At first, issues arose about placements of the poison where registered dogs had consumed and died from it. The proposal to the Unit to issue public notices regarding where such poisons have been placed has been taken on board. 

However, the Unit has destroyed over 900 dogs during the reporting period.

Our Team

PositionName
Director of Dog Management & Control UnitVyko Adeang
Dog Control SupervisorGirouv Paulinious Ika 
Dog Control OfficerPeter Deireragea,
Jetho Tamakin,
Daniel Tsiode

Objectives

  • To facilitate the sterilisation of dogs and conduct operations on the eradication of stray and diseased dogs.

Motivation

 Love your dog? Then license your dog.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

The Dog Management and Control Unit is now a separate section of the Department of Justice and Border Control where previously it was a subdivision of the Quarantine Division.

As a stand alone Section the Unit is allocated with its own budget to execute with the implementation of its work plan. To an extent this avails financial independence to the Unit where the utilisation of its budget is proposed and specifically targeted to its mandates and objectives.

Working with the Community

The Unit has explored ways in engaging the community in the management of stray and diseased dogs as the operation involves the entry of officers onto people’s land in order to reach sites where sightings have been reported of large groups of unregistered dogs gather. These are major concerns of the Unit as the groups of dogs pose as a threat to the public if not controlled. However, the Unit has conducted public awareness sessions with the community informing the people that dog management and control is an issue of  safety for the community especially children who have been subject of stray dog attacks during the past decade.

Way Forward

As a way forward for the Dog Management and Control Unit, the following are priorities:

  1. Formulate a contextualised dog control plan that involves the community.
  2. Develop plans to resource community engagement  in the  management of stray dogs.
  3. Develop operational skills for the dog capture and euthanasia of dogs.
  4. Devise a monitoring and evaluation framework to assess the effectiveness of the implemented work plan for the Unit.

The Nauru Correctional Services is responsible for providing, safe, secure, and humane custodial services, consistent with the international standards’ humane rights and cultural values, for any person imprisoned by a Court order.

The Nauru Correctional Services accommodates prisoners in separate facilities of maximum, medium and low risk prisoners including male adults, women and juveniles.  The population in the Correctional Centre revolves around 30 to 40 at any given time.

Prisoners are provided with progressive development programs to address criminal behavioural patterns, and needs to reduce recidivism. The department intends to discipline and prepare prisoners with skills that is needed for a successful reintegration to the wider community upon their release.

During the course of this reporting period, the prisoners who have been released are now interactive members of the community applying the skills they attained from the correctional facility to the betterment of their lives.

On 24 March 2021, all prisoners underwent a general health check-up that was conducted by Nauru Public Health to ensure that such prisoners are within the healthy range according to their levels of blood/sugar, blood pressure and eye sight. HIV status of each person was also tested.

There are limitations on types of rehabilitation programs which can be implemented hence, the following is undertaken:

  1. fishing, which also supplements healthy food at the Centre; and
  2. with the assistance of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Government, the Correctional Centre introduced:
    1. vegetable farming;
    2. poultry farming for eggs; and
    3. piggery farming.

which, supplements and ensures healthier food for the prisoners.

The prisoners keep the cemeteries around the country clean and tidy, cleaning schools, roadsides and other Government buildings. This helps prisoners to go out of the enclosed Centre. The Correctional Centre is also visited routinely by the Resident Magistrate, who is free to receive complaints from prisoners; and health and medical services.

Our Team

PositionName
Chief Correctional OfficerJezza Uepa
Deputy Chief Correctional OfficerVacant
Supervisor AdministrationVacant
Supervisor StoresMichael Namaduk
Deputy Chief Correctional Officer (Operations)Max Kamtaura
SupervisorBruce-lee Adam,
Vitromich Limen
Ringo Tannang,
Rajay Wabeiya
Wisdom Tamang
Jett Demauna
Lincoln Eoaeo
Jasper Uepa,
Jesse Uepa
Mutima Dake
Supervisor WomanSandy Angabate
Jerusha Mau
Supervisor JuvenileVacant
Correctional OfficerBrammel Teimitsi,
Langitupu Taleka
Conack Maaki
Preslin Aubiat
Barcelona Star
Jester Suburiya
Ibnbabuta Deireragea
Moses WabeiyaJaywan Ephraim
Dawson Agege
Ronrico Togagae
Vincent Deireragea
Gaunbwe Fritz
Juvenile Correctional OfficerVacant
Administrative OfficerIkinalla Thoma
CookVacant
Medical OfficerVacant

Objectives

  • To provide safe, secure and human custodial services, consistent with international standards, human rights and cultural values for any person imprisoned by a Court Order.

Motivation

Rehabilitation the road to reform.

Strategic Plan Priority Area 1 & 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 1

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

On 23 October 2020, 9 Correctional supervisors attended work shop to familiarise response to reducing impact on COVID-19, hosted by the COVID 19 task force at the USP campus.

Fourteen officers have completed a first aide training with Wilson’s security at the Regional Processing Centre  which was conducted from 11 December to 20 December 2020.

Thirteen inmates were certified for completing 3 months farming and agricultural skills in chicken and pig raising by the Taiwan Technical Mission team at the Correctional Centre farm followed by a workshop on hot meal preparation ‘Well Dinning‘.

Seven prisoners along with three Correctional officers commenced their T-Vet training at the T-Vet campus on Certificate 2 – Automotive as part of the Prisoner Rehabilitation  Program of  March 2021.

The Republic intends to bring in education and other skilled based training programs in particular to address the issues of young offenders. The difficulty is due to not having enough skilled or trained people to undertake this education or training program.

While our achievements position the Section well for the future, there are areas requiring operational improvement. The Section’s strategy is to deal with difficult issues and situations, learn from them and plan improved practices and processes while at the same time, the Section is committed to educating the prisoners to lessen the statistics of repeat offenders.

Way Forward

Our dedication to excellence will continue. Nauru Correctional Service key future developments include:

  1. Training and capacity building for correctional officers.
  2. To securely and humanely manage people ordered by the Court to serve a community based or prison sanction and to provide them with opportunities to lead law-abiding and productive lives.
  3. Better manage individual case files.
  4. Provide rehabilitations programs and training to inmates to prepare them for their reintegration back to society.
  5. Provide public confident through natural justice proceedings practices.

The Immigration Division is a vital front line agent in protecting our sovereign borders especially during this exceptional circumstance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Strict safety protocols are adamantly adhered to by all immigration officers.

In thoroughly reviewing documents for visa applications Nauru Immigration have processed and issued 1135 numbers of visas to foreign nationals. Business related visas make up for 85% of the visa applications which is 961.

The Division has received commendations on the significant improvement on reducing delays in visa issuance and swift action for the processing of urgent visa requests from the Regional Processing Centre and Australian Border Force during critical situations.

Detailed screening of 1389 incoming and 1130 out going passengers to and from Nauru has been conducted by verifying travel related documents.

The Section facilitates constant review and audit of visa statuses of foreign nationals in Nauru to ensure compliance with visa regulations. In doing so:

  1. 36 number of visas have been rectified in a timely manner; and
  2. 36 numbers of over stayers have been identified to which no penalties were imposed as they are unable to travel back to their countries of origin due to the pandemic. Instead their visa have been converted to COVID Visas.

The restructure of the Division verified the reclassification of positions to allow for promotion of officers who have served  at their posts for a very long time. This opens up vacancies at the Division allowing for employment opportunities to any person interested in working in the field of border control.

As front line agents during the pandemic, the Immigration Division is constantly updating its protocols and procedures to ensure that Nauru is protected from and prepared for the entry of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Immigration Division continues to perform its duties diligently under its strict legal mandates provided for in the Immigration Act 2014

Our Team

PositionName
Director of ImmigrationRajeev Kheerthiyal
Assistant Director of ImmigrationVacant
RPC Visa ManagerBronnia Detageouwa
Senior Immigration OfficerDarlene Dabana
Visa & Immigration OfficerBarry Deireragea
Elvin Bretchefed
Kane Tamakin
Whitney Botelanga
Immigration OfficerJaziel Jeremiah
Greg Garoa
Starington Dowabobo
Ideana Atto
Stanton Dame
Amuson Bernicke
Clerical OfficerVacant

Objectives

  • Protect Nauru’s sovereign borders and its national security
  • Foster regular migration

Motivation

Keepint our borders safe. 

Strategic Plan Priority Area 1 & 4: Economic/ Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 2

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Econ-Goal 6

Promote development of small-scale sustainable eco-tourism.

Achievements

Passport Scanning System

The Immigration Division has commenced rolling out the Passport Scanning System. The protocols have successfully been integrated into the border control procedures of the Division and is entering its final stage of testing.

The passport scanners arrived earlier this year  and the immigration officers are being trained on how to use the devices.

The passport scanning system will be a much faster process compared to manual data entry. It will strengthen border control security measures and enhance the efficacy of incoming and outgoing passenger processes. 

It is anticipated that the passport scanners will be in full use by the Immigration Division by the end of June 2021.

Front liners of ‘Capture and Contain’

As the first point of contact with arriving passengers in Nauru, the Immigration Division officers are faced with enormous risks of contracting COVID-19. Therefore, the officers are always vigilant in carrying out their duties when processing incoming passengers by ensuring that they are fully clothed in the standard required protective garments. Essential training and briefings are constantly conducted for the Immigration officers so that they are not complacent in fulfilling their tasks and remain free of COVID-19.

Way Forward

  • One of the main challenges is the delay in implementing the passport scanning system due to dependency o other stakeholders like ICT and DCA; and passenger screening during COVID19 crisis and ensuring safety of officers. Due to change in management in the ICT Department in September 2019, the passport scanner implementation project was delayed and the team took the initiative to closely work with the ICT team to complete the project in terms of setting up the required severs and network connection for the immigration booths.
  • The Immigration Division continues to make progress on making immigration movement, maintaining the integrity of data and its accessibility to relevant Government agencies such as the Nauru Police Force as part of a coordinated approach to border security. The officers of the Division are committed to providing better quality services and ensuring border security.

The issue of a travel document is a central subject under the Passports Act 2011. The Division ensures that travel document services are delivered to citizens in a timely, transparent, accessible and reliable manner. As part of the Department’s many initiatives, the Division is being ushered in an era of e-Governance to improve the delivery of services.

A travel document is essential for those who are travelling abroad for education, tourism, medical, business, family visits and so forth.

You may apply for a passport if:

  1. it is your first time applying for a passport;
  2. your passport is running out of pages;
  3. your passport has expired or is about to expire; and
  4. your passport is damaged or lost.

The activities of the Passport Division are carried out in accordance with the various pieces of legislation such as the Passport Act 2011 and conventions such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and procedures that regulate passport operations.

Since the up-rise of the Corona-virus (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020, the number of application for passport has decreased by approximately 90.60%.

Between July 2020 to June 2021, there has been an average of 2,275 new passports issued, 171 passports were renewed and 25 passports were cancelled. 

The Passport Division also issues Certificates of Identity for non-Nauruans such as asylum seekers for the purposes of medical treatment abroad, deportees and foreigners with expired passports who urgently need to return to their  country of origin.

Our Team

PositionName
Director PassportRuby Anram
Senior Passport OfficerZita Itsimaera
Passport Officer (Records & Data Management)Kerryn Notte
Passport Officer (Customer Care Service)Girlina Bretchefeld

Objectives 

To promote the legal identity and national recognition of all Nauruans.

Motivation

Naoero identity for travel. 

Strategic Plan Priority Area 4: Cost Cutting Sectors

Cross-Goal 2

Strengthen Parliament, audit, justice, law, order and border control.

Achievements

In August 2020, the Cabinet approved the Passports (Forms) Regulations 2020. This was notified in the Gazette on 20th August 2020. These Regulations provide forms, including for the following:

  1. application for Nauruan travel document;
  2. application for a travel-related document; and
  3. certificate of identity.

The Regulations is a necessary measure by the Division as part of Nauru’s combined effort in ensuring compliance with our ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) obligations. Nauru is required to properly prescribe its process relating to travel document applications, its determinations and issuance.

Way Forward

  •  The process of moving from Machine Readable Passport (MRP) to Electronic Passport (ePassport) will commence soon as temporary Covid-19 travel restrictions are lifted.  Our  team will ensure to maintain international credibility and integrity of Passports issued under the Passports Act 2011.
  • Due to COVID19, passport revenue is unable to reach its $180,000 target.
  • Our team will continue to work closely with Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages to rectify all the errors found in the previous issuance of some birth certificates, errors in names, date of births, place of birth, parents names etc.

Follow this page to get updates on JBC events.

For more information, reach out to the JBC Secretariat. 

Launching of Revised Written Law (2021)

I would like to thank the Government of Australia for funding the project. I have received the law books as a gift from the Acting High Commissioner of Australia last week Friday. During the gifting process, I highlighted the bilateral relationship between Australia and Nauru. Australia’s involvement in the Department of Justice for improving the law and justice sector is warmly welcomed. The Government of Nauru and my department in particular look forward to working with Australia in other meaningful projects for the betterment of the people and the Republic at large.” – Minister for Justice & Border Control.


Speech By Minister for Justice & Border Control

Honourable Speaker

Honourable Chief Justice

Honourable Justice Khan

Registrar

Resident Magistrate

President of the Law Society

Secretary for Justice

Members of the Bar

Distinguished guests

Staff of the Department of Justice

Mo yekwo and good afternoon to you all.

I am pleased to be part of this programme for the launching of the Revised Written Laws of the Republic of Nauru which comes into effect from today. I have heard other speakers and also the Law Revision Commissioner on this subject. When I became the Minister in 2019, I made it a priority to ensure that the much-awaited law revision and consolidation project be undertaken with despatch. I was fully aware of the mammoth task that lay ahead of those responsible for doing this. I had initially met the staff of the LexisNexis team when I was working as a Pleader in the Department of Justice and heard them talk about the process for the work to be undertaken.

Ladies and gentlemen, the law books are printed and are displayed before you. It is a task which has been completed through the support of the Cabinet. Furthermore, I would also like to show my appreciation to all the Members of Parliament for their forbearance and patience when on one occasion, I had to move more than 12 Bills in one sitting of the Parliament largely to do with this project.  All those Bills got passed with the unanimous support of the Parliament.

Turning to the law revision and consolidation team. The Secretary for Justice with his busy schedule was tasked to ensure that this project is completed. His dedicated and committed team of staff spent nights and weekends to finish this project. I am told the drafts have been read over and revised almost 7 times. The most encouraging part of the project was the involvement of local Nauruan staff. The young Pleaders and new graduate lawyers played a fundamental role throughout the project. The support staff provided all administrative and financial support during the project. I thank them all for their devotion to improving accessibility of laws to the people of Nauru.

I also acknowledge the commitment of the team from LexisNexis in Australia. Katherine Pearson was the Commissioner who started the work. She left the project after the first round of revision and consolidation. However, the committed team from LexisNexis comprising Jennifer Williams, Myfanwy Wallwork and Adele Mcatee stood by until the final product before you. Jennifer Williams as you have heard her, became the Commissioner and is still the Commissioner. I am indeed very grateful for LexisNexis for continuing with the project despite the pandemic. All the revision and consolidation work has been undertaken virtually. That is a milestone itself. I am told that LexisNexis staff have also worked in isolation from their homes when New South Wales was locked down for a substantial period of time. Your dedication and commitment to complete the project no doubt is greatly appreciated by the Government and all the people of Nauru. The quality of the product from LexisNexis is before us and I can add no more.

I would like to make a special acknowledgment for the contribution of His Excellency the President in assisting the team with the cover design and artwork. Every effort has been made to ensure that our crest and Nauru colours are maintained.

Lastly, I would like to thank the Government of Australia for funding the project. I have received the law books as a gift from the Acting High Commissioner of Australia last week Friday. During the gifting process, I highlighted the bilateral relationship between Australia and Nauru. Australia’s involvement in the Department of Justice for improving the law and justice sector is warmly welcomed. The Government of Nauru and my department in particular look forward to working with Australia in other meaningful projects for the betterment of the people and the Republic at large.

With these words, I thank everybody for being present today to witness this great achievement.

Without further ado, I now launch the Revised Written Laws of Nauru.


Speech By Secretary for Justice & Border Control

Honourable Speaker

Honourable Minister for Justice

Honourable Chief Justice

Honourable Justice Khan

Registrar

Resident Magistrate

President of the Law Society

Members of the Bar

Distinguished guests

Staff of the Department of Justice

A very good afternoon to all of you. I am very pleased to welcome you all to this small function to launch the Revised Written Laws of Nauru. TheRevised Written Laws Act 2021comes into effect today and could not be a better day to hold this event.

You have all received a programme for today and each speaker has something to say on the project. As the Secretary for Justice and also being given the responsibility for this project, I have my bit to share with you today. I am no stranger to law reform and law revision projects. I have been part of this back in my home country. However, the dreams were never achieved. Today, I am delighted to see in my legal career that a dream project such as the law revision and consolidation of a country has been completed.

Ladies and gentlemen, we share the fruits of our work with the legal fraternity and the people of Nauru at large. Heading a project of this nature and with the diversity of people, was indeed an experience for me. COVID-19 obstacles did not deter the spirit and determination of my dedicated team of staff. I saw a resurgence of energy and vitality in all the staff. The Nauruan staff sacrificed their family time, the meals and not forgetting their small children to ensure that the project was completed. Thanks to virtual technology and also Microsoft for having text to speech readers with the famous recorded voices of Susan and Zira which saved me from changing my glasses. Nevertheless, the Department of Justice is a great believer in delivering its services with our motto,’Serving the Republic with care and pride’.

I must apologise for being very harsh and aggressive from time to time with all those people involved. Please, accept that as part of your bonus pay because your product is on display today and I am sure you work acknowledgment will remain in the books for many years to come. A memory to be treasured even when expatriate staff will leave Nauru. Your legacy is left forever in Nauru. For the young Nauruan staff, your experience in the project is not only acknowledged but you will be continuing the project on regular updating and improving on it. I assure you that I will not be there so be at peace.

To the Law Revision Commissioner and LexisNexis team, after the completion of the project, I certainly found a boring lull period for every hour on a Monday afternoon from 4pm to 5pm. The charismatic face of Katherine Pearson, ever encouraging jovial face of Jennifer Williams and ever asking for administrative and financial details, Myfanwy Wallwork and always the behind the blocked video of Adele Mcatee, are all memories hidden in these books. The subparagraphs, the commas, conjunctions, alignments, fullstops, page numbers, the crest, captions, and so forth, no doubt will become a template for future law revision projects. You were all great. LexisNexis, your print quality and final product stood to the standard which was promised.

Members of the legal fraternity, I came here in 2015 and I remember talking to Mr Vinci Clodumar and other senior legal practitioners that we need to do something about our laws scattered all over the place. This is a small beginning. Please bear with us if there are some oversights or errors generally. The team at LexisNexis are ready to help us correct it. However, this creates a foundation for us to now build upon. Law reporting of judgments is essential and with the revised written laws, annotations will be the icing on the cake. A vision I leave to the next generation of legal practitioners to take on. I thank you all for your cooperation and please feel free to discuss any issues you may have with this with my staff.

Honourable Minister for Justice was the pillar of strength for this project. The Minister and I had a vision for this project and today, it has been delivered. Minister, thank you very much for standing with, by and for us in Cabinet and also in Parliament. This is your milestone and legacy to the legal fraternity and people of Nauru.

Last but not the least, I thank the Government of Australia for its assistance which I will leave to the Honourable Minister to address.

Again, thank you very much for your attention and I hand over to the Master of Ceremony for the continuation of the programme.