Category Archives: Laws

Death Row Inmates Denied Full Protection Of The Law

Source: Post-Courier

 

 

The Court, presided over by Justice David Cannings, in a 53 page judgment and report of the Inquiry, concluded that all prisoners sentenced to death in PNG are being denied the full protection of the law, contrary to the Constitution of the country.

 
And he has ordered a stay of any execution of prisoners who have been sentenced to death until their rights under the constitution are fully complied with.

 
The Court which commenced the proceedings on its own initiative, styled as an inquiry into human rights of prisoners sentenced to death, was to, identify which prisoners have been sentenced to death, identify what human rights they have and whether those rights are being afforded to them and examine the role of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy.

 

 
Five respondents, who are senior office-holders in the criminal justice system, assisted the Court in its inquiry, they were the Principal Legal Adviser and Attorney-General, the Public Solicitor, the Public Prosecutor, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service and the Registrar of the National Court and Supreme Court.

 
Justice Cannings in his judgment discussed 10 questions which included the Courts jurisdiction to conduct the inquiry, the procedures used, What offences attract the death penalty? What is the method of execution of a person sentenced to death? Who has been sentenced to death? What human rights do prisoners sentenced to death have? What is the role of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy? What is the present status of those on death row? Are the human rights of prisoners sentenced to death being afforded to them? and what declarations or orders should the court make?

 
The most serious concern raised in the judgment by Justice Cannings is the absence of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy which the court found to have become defunct and accordingly made a declaration to that effect. “There has been a failure over an extended period on the part of the National Government, in particular the National Executive Council, to comply with the duty to facilitate appointments of members of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy and to provide it with staff and facilities. The Committee has become defunct. This leaves all prisoners on death row with no effective opportunity to invoke their right to the full protection of the law by applying for the exercise of the power of mercy.”

 
“This has created a gap in the criminal justice system. It involves a breach of the Constitution and an infringement of human rights which must be remedied as a matter of priority.”

 
Other matters of concern raised are the apparent failure of the Correctional Service to ensure that prisoners sentenced to death are given special care and treatment in accordance with Section 105 of the Correctional Service Regulation and the lengthy delays in implementation of the death penalty.

 
The court ordered that the National Executive Council shall, by January 1, 2018, facilitate appointments of members of the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy and ensure that all arrangements are made, staff and facilities are provided and steps are taken to enable and facilitate, as far as may reasonably be, the proper and convenient performance of its functions and that there shall be no execution of any prisoner who has been sentenced to death, irrespective of whether his appeal and review rights have been exhausted.

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Stop Police Brutality

BY MICHAEL ARNOLD

There will not be any deviation to the major principle of “zero tolerance” in regards to brutality by the Police Force.

This was emphasised yesterday by the office of the Police Commissioner Gari Baki, following this week’s one-day crippling strike by PMV bus owners and operators following the alleged brutalising of a crew member and driver in Port Moresby on Monday.

Baki’s office said the matter will be decisively dealt with in all seriousness and those responsible will be brought to justice.

The majority of Port Moresby city’s public transport commuters were caught by surprise at the sudden strike which saw workers, students, emergency and shift workers turning up late to work or school.

Schools were badly disrupted forcing anxious and worried parents to urgently make alternative arrangements for their children with most missing out on classes.

Businesses were also placed on high alert in case the situation turned nasty to uncontrolled rioting and looting as experienced in the past.

Foreign citizens and embassies were also put on high alert for the same reason.

Police reports claim that a route 17 operator had parked in the middle of the road, causing a traffic jam which resulted in him being assaulted by police officers.

The PMV operator was later hospitalised the same day raising questions on the retaliatory action taken by police which is already becoming a common occurrence in PNG.

In light of the incident, Police Commissioner Gari Baki still maintains a zero tolerance policy on police brutality and that the recent case will be dealt with accordingly.

The RPNGC hierarchy has openly condemned the incident, stating that force should only be used “when necessary.”

Examples of which include cases where an offender displays “resistance” or “retaliates” against an officer or in cases when an officer’s life is endangered.

Furthermore, in such cases where force is warranted, then it should be applied within “reasonable parameters.”

However, given the recent public backlash against police regarding the case, the RPNG also acknowledges the unique challenges that PNG police officers face in many parts of the country. Especially when dealing with repeat and persistent offenders.

“The PNG public can sometimes be very violent and you have persistent and repeat offenders, but we, as officers of the law need to rise above it,” said RPNGC director media, chief superintendent Dominic Kakas.The RPNGC maintains that it has a disciplinary system in order, but that system needs to be reinforced at all operational levels.”We have a good disciplinary system in place and it is now up to commanders down the line to enforce standards of discipline within the ranks,” Mr Kakas said.Investigations into the recent assault by police officers are ongoing and the suspects are likely to also face criminal charges.

http://postcourier.com.pg/stop-police-brutality/

Proposed policy to declare revenue

Source: Loop PNG

9th October 2017.

 

The Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGH) says it is working to introduce a policy for stakeholders in the mining industry to declare any revenue received or made from mining projects.

 

Secretary Harry Kore told Loop PNG that the policy idea came about during consultations for the Revised Mining Act.

 

He said while there are reports of mining revenue generated, a lot of locals impacted by mining activities claim to not see any tangible results.

 

Kore said the policy will ensure stakeholders such as provincial governments, authorities such as the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Mineral Resources Development Cooperation (MRDC), as well as landowner association chairmen and landowner company CEOs declare revenue received for the benefit of all.

 

“You fail to do that and you will be held accountable and you will be penalised under the law. So it becomes a practise. Every quarter they just declare their interest. We know that so much money goes to our landowners but whether it trickles down to the peoples is another thing,” said Kore.

 

The policy idea is similar to a draft legislation currently being drawn up by the PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative to make mandatory all revenue from the mineral, petroleum and gas sectors to be fully disclosed as per good governance standards.

 

Kore said they are yet to have formal discussions regarding the policy idea however, there is cooperation and the policy complements that of the work the EITI is undertaking.

 

Secretary Kore added that one of the agendas of the policy is to ensure there is sustainability in how revenue is invested back in the country.

ICAC Draft Bill Open For Public Discussion

September 26, 2017

 

BY NELLIE SETEPANO of Post – Courier

THE Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) draft bill is open to more public discussion and that is what the government wants.

The public is encouraged to make comments on this important legislation, says Constitutional Law Reform Commission chairman, Dr Eric Kwa.

Dr Kwa also said there is no time frame when the bill gets to the parliament.

He was speaking at a radio talkback show with TIPNG chairman, Lawrence Stephens, last week.

Both shared general views on the draft bill and are encouraged that the government has decided to ask the people for their comments, especially on the appointment of commissioners and the clarity of arresting and prosecution powers as certified in the amended bill.

Dr Kwa said the commission will still have some powers to arrest but will give the first call to those mandated by the Constitution to perform functions of arrests.

He said the bill will not be rushed, and that there are suggestions the Prime Minister was running the show which was not correct.

He reiterated that it is not a one-man decision.

Minister for Justice and Attorney-General, Davis Steven, spoke on proposed law at a forum at the University of PNG recently, saying the consultation with civil society and broad community demonstrated the government’s intention to be open about this important legislation.

Regarding consultation, Mr Steven encouraged the involvement of higher learning institutions in discussing the draft bill apart from the general public and it is a must for the legislation to be more simplified for common people to learn and understand it.

Also copies in draft form are available at the Department of Justice.

Challenging The Next Generation Of Lawyers

 

Source: Post-Courier

 

 

Seventy-three lawyers at the Papua New Guinea Legal Training Institute (LTI) now have the skills to pursue careers in commercial practice after undergoing a week’s training in Commercial Advocacy. 

Now in its fifth year, the Commercial Advocacy course, which is the brainchild of Papua New Guinea’s Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, is delivered by a team of barristers from Queensland led by The Honourable, Justice John Logan RFD, of the Federal Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea as part of the Papua New Guinea-Australia partnership.

 

The course is designed to strengthen legal and advocacy skills including applying to the court for injunctions, drafting letters of advice and pleadings, responding to discovery applications and preparing for trials.

 

Part of the course also includes training on the Papua New Guinea criminal law (the Papua New Guinea Criminal Code is based on the Queensland Criminal Code).

 

Over five days, the students were introduced to the fundamentals of commercial litigation before testing their advocacy skills in mock court exercises.

 

The need for this training was driven by the increasing volume and complexity of commercial cases being conducted in Papua New Guinea, many of which are conducted by expatriate lawyers.

 

Speaking at the close of the LTI’s Commercial Advocacy Course recently, the Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Hon. Davis Steven, challenged trainees to make a difference and thanked the Australian Government for sharing Papua New Guinea’s vision of a thriving legal profession in a democratic and prosperous nation.

 

Australian High Commission Counsellor Gina Wilson, congratulated students on completing the course.

 

“The Papua New Guinea-Australia supports the LTI.  Commercial law is not just an exciting career path; it plays a vital role in encouraging economic investment and development,” she said.

 

Almost 500 students have completed the course since 2013.

No Cut To DSIP, PSIP

Source: Post- Courier 

 

September 21, 2017 

 

 
There will be no cuts to province and district services (provincial services improvement program and district services improvement program) funds, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
He said in a statement yesterday that 2017 was almost over therefore Governors and Members of Parliament will receive only K2 million each, two months of their PSIP and DSIP funds this year.
Mr O’Neill, who is in New York for the United Nations’ General Assembly, expressed confidence that the Supplementary Budget will be tabled when Parliament meets, starting on Monday, September 26.
He said the supplementary budget was necessary to balance the budget due to the adjustments in revenue collection, and more importantly, to reprioritise expenditure to focus on the key development agenda.
“The 2017 Budget plan was based on commodity prices for our exports together with revenue generation,” the Prime Minister said.
“We are still in a challenging global economic environment with a slow rebound in commodity prices, and this places pressure on expenditure.
“We will continue to adjust and reprioritise expenditure to ensure that we protect and build on the gains we have achieved in the past five years in healthcare, education, infrastructure, law and order and empowerment of our people.
“The continued investments in these areas is vital to our long-term development and improving the lives of our people.”
The Prime Minister said the devolution of authority to provinces and districts continues to be a core priority for the National Government.
“Our DSIPs and PSIPs are vital to achieving our development objective right around the country,” he said.
“For the first time in history, our government has been getting funds directly to our districts and provinces where our people live.
“People forget that under past governments, no such funding was given to districts and provinces.
“Our DSIP and PSIP policy has seen restoration and development of our district and provinces, and our government is committed to these two programs.”
Mr O’Neill said that in the Supplementary Budget, the government was not cutting DSIP and PSIP funds; “That is certainly not the intention of the government.
“Because we have only two months left in the fiscal year 2017, the government is providing K2 million for each district and province.
“The balance will be paid to the districts and provinces over the term of this parliament.
“These two programs are an integral part of our development agenda, and we have seen these programs deliver real change,” he said.

Govt To Decide On Death Penalty Soon

By HELEN TARAWA
THE Government is expected to make a decision soon on the death penalty while 12 people on death row continue to wait.
Justice Minister and Attorney-General Davis Steven said a decision would be made soon on the matter.
“I’ve got 12 people waiting to die. Do you think they are going to go away? I’m going to make a decision very shortly.
“The debate will continue. But as long as it’s law, somebody has got to enforce it,” he said.
He said the people would be given an opportunity to discuss the issue too.
Steven told The National that the previous government had allocated funds t

o ensure that all the different modes of execution and other issues were considered.
“Two things are clear. There is a death penalty imposed. And 12 of our citizens have been sentenced.
“They have been waiting while we have been meandering and creating all sorts of excuses.”

 

http://www.thenational.com.pg/govt-decide-death-penalty-soon-steven/

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