If opinions issued are an indication of activity, then the Traditional Rights Court under Chief Judge Walter Elbon has taken off these past two years.
In 2014 and 2015, the TRC issued 10 opinions, five each year. Since its first opinion was issued in 1986, the TRC up to 2013 was averaging just one opinion per year. In fact, due to ups and downs of judge appointments over the years, often years went by without a single opinion being issued. From 1990 to 1999, for example, only seven opinions were issued.
So it would be fair to say the TRC in the last two years is firing on all cylinders. It currently has six trials already scheduled through this coming April — which will result in more opinions.
Chief Judge Elbon, who represents alab interests on the TRC, is joined on the panel by Associate Judges Nixon David, who represents iroij interests, and Grace Leban, who represents dri jerbal interests.
“The TRC is in a posture to push out as many cases as it can, given the number of attorneys who handle land cases and the difficulty in getting parties, often older landowners, together for hearings,” said High Court Chief Justice Carl Ingram
Read more about this in the January 1, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.