Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs

    Western Australian lawmen to bring justice to the Solomons

    22/04/2005 12:00 AM

    Two Western Australian legal eagles will fly to the Solomon Islands this month to help restore law and order in the strife-torn country.

    Supreme Court Principal Registrar Keith Chapman has been appointed Deputy Chief Magistrate in the Solomons, while Perth Magistrate Kieran Boothman will take up the post of Magistrates’ Courts Adviser.

    Both secondments are for 12 months and form part of the Australian Government’s contribution to the reconstruction of the civil infrastructure in the Solomons after the country descended into chaos two years ago.

    Attorney General Jim McGinty said the appointment of the two Western Australians was a credit not only to the abilities of Principal Registrar Chapman and Mr Boothman but also to the State’s judicial system.

    “The restoration of law and order to the Solomon Islands is critical in ensuring peace and prosperity for the Solomon Island community,” Mr McGinty said.

    “I am extremely proud that two of our finest legal minds have selflessly put up their hands to provide their expertise in a country that needs its social fabric rebuilt.”

    The multi-nation Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) began in July 2003, following an ethnic conflict and the total breakdown of law and order. The small Melanesian country’s economy collapsed and there was a thriving trade in extortion and intimidation.

    Troops and police from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga arrived in the Solomons to restore order and disarm the gangs.

    Principal Registrar Chapman said he was looking forward to the challenge.

    “I am pleased I will be able to share my knowledge and experience with the people of the Solomon Islands and, in turn, get an opportunity to learn of their culture and customary law,” Mr Chapman said.

    Mr Boothman said he took up the position because he wanted to make a contribution to a neighbour in trouble.

    “My work in the Family Violence Court here has shown me that it is much easier and more important to assist our neighbours, rather than to complain or restrain,” he said.

    Mr McGinty today commended Mr Chapman and Mr Boothman for their commitment.

    “The Solomon Islands is still a difficult place and I applaud any Australian who travels there as part of the peacekeeping efforts,” he said.

    “I wish Keith Chapman and Kieran Boothman a successful mission and a safe return.”

    Attorney General's office: 9220 5000

    Keith Chapman - began his legal career with the (then) State Crown Law Department in 1974. He was appointed a stipendiary magistrate in 1979 and an industrial magistrate in 1981, before joining legal firm Parker and Parker as a Senior Associate in 1987. Since 1989, Mr Chapman has been the Principal Registrar of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, presiding over examinations and hearings applications. He pioneered mediation and case management in the Supreme Court. He has frequently acted as a Master of the Supreme Court.

    Kieran Boothman SM - was admitted to practice in WA in 1982, after lecturing in Law in Northern Island for six years. He became a partner in the firm Ball and Co before joining the Legal Aid Commission in Bunbury as a senior lawyer in 1992.
    Mr Boothman was appointed to the bench in WA in 1993 and posted to Kalgoorlie as the sole magistrate. In 1999 he set up and ran the Family Violence Court in Joondalup, before taking up his present position in the Perth Local Court in 2003, hearing civil cases.