The Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) was established to provide representation for those who needed to appear before the Courts. The High Court can also direct the PSO to act. The mission statement is to assist the disadvantaged people of the Solomon Islands. This is done in criminal law, in civil proceedings, family law and land law. In addition, the PSO undertakes community awareness programmes so that the communities of the Solomon Islands can have a better understanding of how the formal justice system can benefit them. The emphasis in the past three years has been building capacity in the area of family protection and the office is the principal organisation attending to the legal protections afforded by the Family Protection Act.
The PSO provides the lawyers to give advice to and represent those who need legal assistance. Those lawyers are supported with on-going training opportunities including the support of an adviser to the office, attachments to the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission and to the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA). It is also supported by the Victorian Bar through annually providing a week of intensive training and on-line mentoring.
The PSO is principally run by the Public Solicitor who has a management team working with them. The office receives support from the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs and the Public Service in regard to staffing. The Public Solicitor has a seat on the JSCC (Justice Sector Consultative Committee) chaired by the Chief Justice. The PSO is also represented on Justice sector meetings