Michael is a senior commercial litigation lawyer with over 30 years’ experience in Australia, South East Asia and the Pacific. He is currently a Partner at O’Briens Lawyers, a recognised independent commercial legal firm in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
From 1994, Michael has served as a senior rugby administrator for the Australian Rugby Union, SANZAR, and World Rugby, including work in Pacific Countries. His main function has been as an international commissioner and judiciary officer.
An experienced Court advocate, Michael also has extensive experience in tribunal hearings, international arbitration and mediation, including in the Court appointed mediation system currently operating in Papua New Guinea.
Bachelor of Laws (LL.B), UPNG 1979; Master of Laws, LL.M (by research), University of Warwick, UK 1985; Doctor of Philosophy, (Ph.D), University of Cambridge, UK, 1991,
Professor of Law (current); immediate past Executive Dean, School of Law, UPNG; Acting Vice Chancellor, UPNG, 2000; Pro-Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), 1997-1999,
Legal research and publication in the areas of customary and family law, constitutional law and law generally.
Counsel of the Ombudsman Commission of Papua New Guinea who oversees the Office of Counsel and provides advice to the Commission on legal and policy issues, touching on its roles, functions and responsibilities.
Joined the Commission in November 2015 after completing his doctoral studies in Wellington, New Zealand.
Appears in litigation matters involving the Commission, especially in the National and Supreme Court.
His main area of practice is in Constitutional Law and Administrative Law.
A guest lecturer at the Divine Word University teaching Administrative Law to Masters Students in Public Administration.
And is the current President of the Papua New Guinea Law Society.
Gari L. Baki is the current Commissioner of Police for the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. He was a career Officer joining the Cadet Program before his posting to Enga Province serving as the Police Station Commander(PSC) at Wabag Police Station in 1979. He was first appointed Commissioner of Police from 2007-2011 before his current second term from July 2015. He hails from Ganeboku Village in the Talasea area of West New Britain Province.
PhD (Law) Majoring in Dispute Resolution, LLM, BA (Psychology & Education), MA (School Counselling), BLegS
Accredited Mediator (NMAS), PNG and IMI
Admitted as a barrister in 1993. Katherine Johnson has 40 years of experience assisting peace development programs and preventing conflict on an individual and societal basis. She has been training mediators since the year 2000 for National Accreditation and has been instrumental in establishing a complaints mechanism that has been nationally accepted as a template for complaints handling again through the Australian Dispute Resolution Association. She has recently published her thesis on the development of a new mediation model called the “Re-Constructionist Model”, which focuses on dealing effectively with loss from a psychological and societal viewpoint.
Katherine has worked as a counselling and organisational psychologist for 40 years; as a family dispute resolution practitioner (FDRP) and generalist mediator for twenty years and brings the knowledge from psychology into the mediation field to develop an organic model of mediation that becomes a social change agent.