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Palau Chief Justice Ngirakelsong resigns

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KOROR (Island Times/Pacnews) — Arthur Ngirakelsong had retired after serving 28 years as chief justice of the Palau Supreme Court.

His resignation was effective Monday June 1, 2020.

In his letter to President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., Chief Justice Ngirakelsong said  he had made a decision to retire after serving the people of Palau, beginning in 1986 as an associate justice of the Supreme Court. Of the 34 years serving on the Palau Supreme Court, 28 of those years had been as the chief justice. He said it has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Palau.

He further expressed his appreciation to Minister Dr. Emais Roberts and Ambassador Ngedikes Olai Uludong for their assistance in arranging for his medevac and treatment in Taiwan.

Chief Justice Arthur Ngirakesong fell ill last year in November and was flown to Taiwan for treatment. After extended treatment, he returned home to further recover.

Ngirakelsong was appointed in 1992 to the position of chief justice after Chief Justice Mamoru Nakamura passed away.

In his letter to President Remengesau Jr., Ngirakelsong expressed his appreciation to all the past and present members of the judiciary and wishes all of them well.

With the position of chief justice now vacant, the Judicial Nominating Committee, a seven-member board, made up of three members from the Palau Bar Association, three members appointed by the president and the chief justice as chair will recommend seven people for the president’s consideration.

The Palau judiciary’s annual report states, “The qualities sought in judicial nominees include: integrity and moral courage; legal ability and experience; intelligence and wisdom; compassion and fairness; diligence and decisiveness; judicial temperament; and awareness of and sensitivity to Palauan culture.”

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