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Legal System of Papua New Guinea

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HomeBrud.gifLegal System of Papua New Guinea

Legal System

Papua New Guinea Law is based on the Common law and the English law. Statutes of PNG are adapted after studying provisions of other countries, particularly that of Australia and England.


The Constitution of Papua New Guinea was drafted and arrangements for full sovereignty were made during 1973 - 75.


  • Supreme Court
  • National Court
  • District Court
  • Village Magistrates Court
  • Other Courts (Juvenile Court)


Statutes of Papua New Guinea are adopted from overseas jurisdictions. The Criminal Code is adopted from Queensland; the Rules of Court are those of New South Wales; the Matrimonial Causes Act is the extremely old English statute of 1857 which had been in force in the Australian States before the federal Divorce Act, 1964; the Companies Act ch 146 was substantially the English Companies Act, 1948; it was replaced by the Companies Act, 1997, adopted from New Zealand.

Criminal Law

Criminal proceedings are brought in the name of "The State" rather than "The Queen" or "R."