LAW STUDENTS SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE 2020-2021 INTERNSHIP
Empowering the next generation of legal professionals with anti-corruption skills will strengthen the national integrity of Papua New Guinea for years to come. This was among the sentiments expressed at the formal closing of Transparency International Papua New Guinea’s (TIPNG) innovative Legal Internship Program (LIP).
This annual program by TIPNG, in partnership with the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), began in 2017. Through the LIP four students in their 3rd and 4th year of study at the UPNG School of Law are engaged for 8 weeks to develop their professional skills and assist people in Papua New Guinea to take action against corruption.
“We are thankful to Larry Agdop, Dempstar Kiasaka, Marlyna Kispe and Rebekah Watinga for their contribution to the work of TIPNG since they started in December 2020. They have been exemplary young Papua New Guineans in their conduct and commitment. It is our hope that the skills they have learned in the TIPNG office will inform how they, as legal professionals, contribute to the fight against corruption in Papua New Guinea,” said Arianne Kassman, TIPNG Chief Executive Officer, at the closing of the LIP on Friday 12th February 2021.
The four Interns in the 2020-21 LIP intake primarily assisted with TIPNG’s Anti-Corruption Help Desk (AnCoHD) which offers free and confidential advice to victims and witnesses of corruption in Papua New Guinea. Corruption complaints can be lodged by either visiting the TIPNG office, or calling 180 6000 which is the toll-free hotline. While TIPNG cannot investigate, arrest or prosecute cases of corruption, through the AnCoHD matters can be referred on behalf of clients to responsible agencies for assistance.
In addition to AnCoHD duties, the LIP interns assisted with legislative review, policy briefs, clerical tasks, events preparations and stakeholder meetings while with TIPNG. During the internship they also received presentations from the Interim ICAC, the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) Secretariat, Centre for Environmental Law and Community Rights (CELCOR), Aila Consulting Ltd, TIPNG founding Director Richard Kassman and legal professional Nou Vada. TIPNG recently signed an MoU with UPNG to run the LIP till 2024 and as such the next intake will be in November 2021.