Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

ADB project to 'improve access to the FSM Laws'

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): May 25, 2001 - The Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia has a new project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to "improve access to FSM Laws."

The ADB project, "Improving Access to FSM Laws," is divided into two major components: Community Education and the development of a Legal Information System. The first phase has been contracted through Micronesian Seminar and the other phase will be implemented by the FSM Supreme Court through an ADB contracted Consultant.

Micronesian Seminar, according to the Director - Father Francis X. Hezel, was contracted to develop community awareness of the Judicial System in the FSM, to "explain the modern Judicial System, how it works and how it compares with the traditional island system of settling disputes."

Since February of this year, Micronesian Seminar has started its part of the project and expects to produce for the Community Education phase: 2-videos, several local radio programs for each State, printed materials and articles.

For the second phase, the ADB contracted Dennis K. Yamase to develop a Legal Information System that will gather, organize and maintain the Codes throughout the FSM. Yamase will also update the Code for the National Government and the States and create Codes for the States who have not established any.

Yamase said the project will avail to the citizens of the FSM updated State and National laws on-line. He expects to develop a website that will "further enhance the availability and accessibility of the Legal System to all sectors of the FSM and the Pacific region as well."

Yamase is a familiar figure in the Micronesian Judicial system; he was a Legislative Counsel for the FSM Congress for over 5 years, extended his services to the Republic of Palau and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas where he headed a Commission of similar output.

The implementation phase of the Project is contracted for a 6-months duration and expected to completion around late November 2001.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356