Category Archives: Legal

NEC approves 5yr extension for registration of land groups

 
October 20, 2017 
Source: The National
 
 
THE National Executive Council (NEC) has approved a five-year extension for the registration of Integrated Land Groups(ILGs).
 
Lands and Physical Planning Minister Justin Tkatchenko told The National that it would be welcomed by the business community, especially in the agriculture sector, resources sectors and industries.
 
The extension is expected to give time to landowners to clearly identify their land.
 
The deadline lapsed in February.
 
“NEC has approved for the five-year extension for the ILGs to be identified and certified as requested by the industry and business houses, especially the New Britain Oil Palm, Mineral Resources Development Corporation, Oil Search and the big companies that deal with landowners in their developments and activities,” he said.
 
“Whether it’s agriculture, mining or development, whatever the area is, the ILGs can now be properly and correctly identified.”
 
Tkatchenko said a lot of ILGs had still not been clearly identified when the deadline lapsed eight months ago.
 
“Customary landowners and ownership of this ILGs have not been properly identified,” he said.
 
“So there was a request for the business side of things and for our big corporate companies that deal with customary land and landowners in our country.”
 
Tkatchenko said it was part of the 100-day plan that Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel had put forward.
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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.

Statement in Response to Loop PNG’s Article calling Governor Sasindran Muthuvel’s Citizenship into Question

It was unfortunate to see Loop PNG attempt to tarnish my good name by publishing and heavily promoting a story designed to raise doubts about my citizenship. Such attempts to undermine the legitimacy of West New Britain’s election results do not serve the people of Papua New Guinea.

Rival candidates tried to make the same claim after the 2012 elections. The allegations were proven to be completely false. I am a naturalized citizenship of Papua New Guinea and have been since 2007. Upon taking up my new citizenship as a Papua New Guinean my former Indian citizenship was automatically revoked under Indian law.

To further cement my dedication to this country I also formally renounced my Indian citizenship via a letter to the then Indian High Commissioner of PNG, His Excellency S.P. Mann. This renunciation was confirmed by the Indian government in a return letter.

Along with my two children I obtained my first PNG passport in October of 2007 and have worked to be a humble servant of this great nation ever since. Taking on PNG citizenship was a great honour for me and I have worked ever since to live up to the responsibilities that accompany that honour. I sincerely hope my dedication to my West New Britain people has showed my gratitude to my adopted country.

I have every confidence the courts will once again uphold my good name, and once they have completed their due processes allow me to continue to serve the people of West New Britain for this parliamentary term.

Regards,

Sasi

Governor Sasindran Muthuvel October 11, 2017 at 3.35pm

4 Land Leases for West New Britain

West New Britain has received a land title and three state leases for the province.

The land leases secured are for the building of the new Caritas Girls Technical school campus in the province, the building of sporting infrastructure near the new stadium, a culture centre and a jetty and fish processing facility.

Governor Sasindra Muthuvel, when receiving the leases, said he was happy with the leases, adding that the acquiring of the leases would go a long way in securing economic empowerment for the people of the province.

Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, said the securing of the titles is long overdue.

“Public land should be secured for public purpose. These land titles will assist the province of West New Britain,” Mr Tkatchenko said.

“Give the land where it rightfully belongs and utilise it for the people of PNG.”

“In West New Britain, big parcels of land, and especially for the PNG Games, big internationally accredited stadiums have been built.

And it gives me great pleasure in giving the state lease for the sporting stadium and all its surrounding stadiums.

“The State lease and title for the cultural centre that has been set up for 30 years, and the lease comes under the WNB government, securing the land to be further developed.

“The jetty and fish processing facility are important for starting up business activities under the provincial government. Under the provincial government, that land will see economic empowerment to the people,” Mr Tkatchenko said.

Mr Muthuvel said the land given to the WNB people belongs to the people and will be developed for future use.

Source: sasimuthuvel.com October 10, 2017

Ban On Issuing Firearm Licenses

 

 

BY MICHAEL ARNOLD via Post-Courier

In light of an unprecedented increase in gun- related violence and killings reported in recent months, Police Minister Jelta Wong has declared a ban on the issuance of new firearm licences.

Mr Wong made this declaration yesterday by virtue of the powers conferred under Section 5A (1) of the Firearms Act Chapter 310, and all other enabling powers bestowed on him under the Constitution.

In compliance with this government directive, Police Commissioner Gari Baki, who is also the registrar of firearms, will not entertain new applications for the purchase and issuance of new gun licences.

Mr Wong said the ban, which was instituted yesterday, October 4, will remain in effect for an indefinite period. He said the government is taking this measure because of the increasing number of gun-related violence and killings reported in certain parts of the country in recent times.

The death toll now includes the two police officers killed in Wabag, Enga Province, at the height of the recently concluded 2017 National Election in July, and two in Southern Highlands Province last weekend.

However, according to Mr Wong, the PNG’s disciplinary forces, which include the PNG Defence Force, Police and Correctional Services, are exempted from this ban. A similar moratorium on firearms was issued by the Government in 2000.

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.

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