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Nuku’alofa – July 28, 2022: 9.40am (Nuku’alofa Times): A new Supreme Court Judge has been appointed and approved by His Majesty in Council.

Mrs Petunia Tupou KC will be sworn in as a new judge of the Supreme Court of Tonga on  August 1.

She replaces Hon. Mr Justice Laki Niu.

The Lord Chancellor Tu’inukutavake Barron Afeaki confirmed the appointment, adding he was approved by His Majesty in Council, after being recommended by a Judicial Appointments and Discipline Panel.

This was after receiving and considering expressions of interest and a full evaluative process, including interviews with all the candidates.

The panel had called for expressions of interest from suitably qualified members of the Tongan legal profession, in accordance with clauses 83C and 86 of the Constitution.

Mrs Tupou is a respected and long-standing lawyer and has served the legal profession and community with distinction and integrity for many years.

She will be sworn in on Monday, 1 August before the Prime Minister and Cabinet and she will also be welcomed by Lord Chief Justice Whitten in a special sitting at the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court.

Justice Niu’s four-year appointment as Supreme Court judge ended on June 30.

The new judge joins Lord Chief Justice Whitten and Hon. Mr Justice Cooper at the Supreme Court.

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