Justice Leka Nama Nablu

CAREER OBJECTIVE
To be a proficient and influential leader in law and development issues in Papua New Guinea with particular focus in developing countries situated in the Pacific.

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
Accomplished attorney with significant experience in taxation and customs matters in Papua New Guinea involving litigation and legislative drafting. Knowledgeable in tax law and practice, business/commercial law, administrative law and government administration.
Background includes working independently, with leading law/accounting firms, as well as with clients ranging from government departments internally and externally, businesses and individuals.
Adept at litigation, negotiation, and counselling. Persuasive writer and effective communicator.
Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. Superior comprehensive ability, including both a broad perspective and attention to detail.
Supportive team player with strong interpersonal skills. Proficient in client interaction and liaison with external colleagues.
Admitted to the Papua New Guinean Bar.

APPOINTMENT TO THE NATIONAL COURT OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA

  • Appointed to the National Court Bench in June 2014 as an Acting Judge of the National Court. Officially sworn into Office In August 2014.
  • Appointment extended for another 12 months. Commenced on 4th June 2015.

 
PERMANENT APPOINTMENT TO THE SUPREME & NATIONAL COURT OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA

  • Substantive appointment for a period of ten (10 years) as a Judge of the National & Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea in December 2015. Officially sworn into Office on the 9th February 2016.

 EXPERIENCE
Taxation/Customs policy

  • A decade of experience in working with legal department of the Papua New Guinea Internal Revenue Commission.
  • Provided legal advice on all aspects of the legislation which was administered by the government department, including provision of legal advice regarding the negotiation of State Project Agreements with international donors and institutions.
  • Assisted with the development and drafting of bills of parliament. Provided significant input and legal advice in regard to national taxation and customs policy.
  • Reviewed and approved legal advice provided by lawyers within the division and was responsible for supervision and training of junior legal officers and administrative of the daily operations of the legal affairs division.
  • Developed and drafted the legislation for the Customs Appeals Tribunal and was a member of the Customer Modernized Management Team which reviewed customs procedure and developed strategies to implement provisions of the Revised Kyoto Convention to harmonize global customs procedure.
  • Attended a number of international and domestic meetings in regard to the tax and customs policy, for example, the Pacific Islands Tax Administrations 2008 meeting held in Vanuatu and Senior Officials Meetings of APEC 2009 held in Singapore.
  • Assisted with the planning and implementation of international donor assistance meetings for specific customs projects.
  • Appointed the competent Authority for tax enforcement liaison with Double Tax Treaty Partners in 2010.
  • Member of the PNG double tax treaty negotiation team which successfully negotiated the Double Tax Treaty with New Zealand officials in 2011.
  • Assisted with the drafting of the PITAA (Pacific Islands Tax Administrators Association) Constitution which was recently adopted in 2012.
  • Assisted with the drafting of annual Government Budget Legislation in respect to tax measures.
  • Assisted and played a key role in the IRC Transformation Project to transform the IRC form a Government Department to a Statutory Authority. Involved mainly with the preparation and drafting of the bills for Parliament and liaison with key Government Stakeholders.

LITIGATION/LEGAL

  • Prosecution of diverse summary offences and debt recovery actions under the Tax and Customs regime in the District Court, National and Supreme Courts. Provided legal advice and conducted prosecutions for offences like unlawful smuggling of prohibited goods, recovery of unpaid taxes and defamation of officers.
  • Developed and assisted in strategies and defence in civil cases against the Internal Revenue Commission and gained favourable results in most cases. Successfully defended a major case relating to an application for return of seized tugboat and pontoon in the Supreme Court.
  • Reviewed and approved litigation strategies. Drafted legal documentation and briefs for trial and pre-trial proceedings.
  • Represented the interests of the Internal Revenue Commission in both international and domestic meetings with other government departments and international institutions.
  • Engaged in and provided legal advice for other cases related to other areas of law like labour and public administration law, actions for unlawful dismissal. Successfully defended an application for judicial review for unlawful dismissal. Also successful argued the reduction of damages for a civil case for unlawful detention of a vessel.
  • Conducted inter parte proceedings in the Tax Review Tribunal and also performed duties of the Secretary to the Chairman of the Tribunal.
  • Guest Lecturer for Tax Law and Practice at the Papua New Guinea Legal Institute 2012 and 2013.

 

WORK HISTORY

Papua New Guinea Supreme & National Court, Waigani, National Capital District.
Office of a Judge – 9th February 2016 to date.

Papua New Guinea National Court, Waigani, National Capital District.
Office of an Acting Judge – August 2014 to December 2015.

Papua New Guinea Internal Revenue Commission, Port Moresby, National Capital District                                                              
Assistant Commissioner – Legal Services Division 2010 to July 2014.

Papua New Guinea Internal Revenue Commission, Port Moresby, National Capital District
Director of Litigation, 2006 – 2009

Papua New Guinea Internal Revenue Commission, Port Moresby, National Capital District
Acting Assistant Commissioner – Policy & Legal Affairs, 2008

Papua New Guinea Internal Revenue Commission, Port Moresby, National Capital District
Principle Advising Officer, 2004 – 2006

Papua New Guinea Internal Revenue Commission, Port Moresby, National Capital District
Senior Advising Officer, 2003 – 2004

Papua New Guinea Internal Revenue Commission, Port Moresby, National Capital District
Advising Officer, 2000 – 2003

 

EDUCATION & TRAINING

University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Master of Law 2010
Undertook mainly International Law, International Comparative law and Development Courses

Papua New Guinea Legal Training Institute, Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea
Legal Training Certificate, 1999
Best Student in Conveyance

University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Bachelor of Laws (Honours – Second Class – Upper Division), 1995 – 1998
Best Student for Constitutional Law 1995
Best Student in First Year 1995
UPNG Moot Court Team 1997/1998

 

Continuing Legal Education & Training

Accredited as a Provisional Accredited Mediator
Upon various conditions on 26th November 2013

Basic Mediation Skills Training (ADR Committee), Australia Mediation Association, Mt Hagen, WHP (May 2012)
Passed the mediator accreditation assessment, according to Australian National Standards.

The Port Moresby Alternative Dispute Resolution Workshop (27th – 29th July 2011), Port Moresby, NCD.
Certificate of Participation

Victorian Bar Readers Course, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2002 (May – March)
Certificate in Advocacy and signed the Honorary Roll, 2002 (May – March)

Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrations (CATA), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Certificate – Commonwealth Management Development Programme, 2005 (August – September)

Professional Memberships
Papua New Guinea Law Society 2000 – August 2014.