46 year old Senior Constable Judith Lapila Pauls has created history bybecoming the first policewoman to be admitted to the bar after graduating witha Bachelor of Law from the Law Faculty of the University of Papua New Guinea.
Judith who hails from Magarida Amazon Bay of the Central province isalso probably one of the first women in this part of the country to qualify asa professional Lawyer.
This mother of four children who also has a passion of caring fororphans was sworn in as a qualified lawyer on February 26th 2016 atthe Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea.
Her achievement is not only historical but significant for theConstabulary because no other policewomen have become Lawyers while serving inthe Constabulary.
In 1987 Judith worked as a civilian clerk with the Constabulary’sFirearm Section, before her recruitment into the uniform branch in 1989.
After a stint in frontline policing, Judith acquired some Para LegalTraining and by 1996 she worked as a Prosecutor with the Constabulary’sProsecutions Directorate.
“While working as a Prosecutor, I developed a passion of becoming aLawyer, but my dream seemed unattainable because of the psychological gap,”Judith said of her ambition to study Law.
“I was just a simple policewoman and the stakes seemed quite high for mebut I took one step at a time to arrive at the bar.” she said.
Judith attributes much of her success to former Police Lawyer the lateChief Inspector Thomas Taian who persuaded her to enrol at the University ofPapua New Guinea.
“Taian was like a father figure to every one of us working in theProsecutions Section at Boroko Police Station. He was my mentor, he wasintelligent, forthright and serious, but more often funny and humorous,” Judithsaid of the late Thomas Taian who passed away recently.
As a wife and mother she discussed the prospect of studying law at the University with her policeman husband Sergeant Police Simon and they both agreed for her to take up the challenge.
In 2007, Judith enrolled as a full time Diploma Student at the University of Papua New Guinea and graduated two years later in 2009 with a Diploma in Law Prosecution (DLP).
For her, the light was now beginning to glow at the end of the tunnel but she still had to juggle her work, and the responsibilities of looking after her children including several orphans adopted by Paul and Judith.
“Our family home at the Gordon Police Barracks is being frequented by homeless children who roam the streets of Port Moresby. They come unannounced just to be fed,” she said while revealing some of her personal commitments outside of her official duty as a policewoman.
Judith also attributes her milestone achievement to God and her own sheer determination and personal sacrifice. There were moments where, I felt distracted and was on the verge of giving up because I lived in a crowded and unconducive environment at Gordon Police Barracks.
She is also thankful for her family especially her husband Paul and their four children for their patience support and understanding, which she said helped her to achiever her ultimate dream.
“It was difficult but I persevered the challenges because I wanted to set the example for the other young policewomen to follow so they can make a difference in their lives.”
Judith’s remarkable achievement is a testament of faith and courage one retold so many times before.
When relating her success, Judith said Papua New Guinea now has countless women who are now practising law within the legal fraternity. She said many others have become successful in their own rights as intellectuals and professionals in the business sector and various other fields.
Today’s trend is a stark contrast to thing society of yester years where men were once considered to be superior because their status as a father, husband and bread-winner of the family was naturally inherent.
Soon after PNG gained its independence in 1975, male chauvinism had taken a foothold leaving females little or no space for recognition or advancement despite the fact that many females were becoming academically qualified in various professions.
This cultural stigma remained unabated for some time because of many factors including our cultural practices but today this psychological phenomena is beginning to peel off because the world is becoming more globalised,” Judith said in this exclusive interview with the Police Media Unit.
For now Judith has no intention of leaving the Constabulary with the pledge that she will assist in the dispensation of legal issues confronting the Police Department.
When asked why she had no intention of leaving to pursue a career elsewhere within the Legal Fraternity, she said, because the Police Department paid my salaries and allowed me to study law until I reached the bar.
Copyright (c) 2017 Royal Papua New Guinea.