Tag Archives: Supreme Court

PM welcomes Supreme Court ruling

12/15/2017

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has welcomed today’s Supreme Court ruling on the controversial arrest warrant against him.

 

 

He told media this afternoon that the ruling by the three-man bench is a clear demonstration of the independence of the judiciary system of the country.

 

He said it was clearly a politically motivated case by people with vested interest out to tarnish his name, and he hopes the real culprits can be caught.

 

 

“This is a decision that has a lot of common sense and it is a decision against people who are maliciously using both government agencies and the courts to get political merit out of,” said O’Neill.

 

“From the start this was a political witch-hunt.”

 

O’Neill said today’s decision clearly shows the interventions he took were the right decisions he took.

 

“This has done a great damage to the nation, it has cost millions of kina in the legal process, personally and to the state,” said the PM.

 

“And of course, our country’s name has been dragged through the mud, in particular media outlets like the ABC.

 

“I give credit to all the media outlets who have demonstrated professionalism in this debate.”

Source: Loop PNG

Author: Meredith Kuusa

PM’s arrest warrant quashed

12/15/2017

 The Supreme Court has quashed the controversial arrest warrant that was taken out for the arrest of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill three years ago.

A three-man Supreme Court bench today unanimously found the warrant defective and the District Court’s decision to issue it as well.

 

 

The court found that lack of care was applied by the District Court in issuing the warrant.

 

There was no information put on the form to get a warrant. The date on which the information was laid was blank. Even the word ‘Independent’ was spelt wrong on the form.

 

The court further found that the wrong form was used in applying for the warrant.

 

To apply for the arrest warrant, form 1 had to be used, as per section 8 of the Arrest Act of 1977.

 

The court upheld the appeals filed by PM O’Neill and Police Commissioner Gari Baki, and set aside the warrant as void and of no legal effect.

 

This appeal arose from the decision of August 8, where the National Court ruled it cannot judicially review the manner in which the warrant was issued from the District Court on 12 June 2014.

 

The Supreme Court ruled that the decision by the District Court to issue the warrant was an administrative decision that was capable of being judicially reviewed.

Source: Loop PNG

Author: Sally Pokiton

New judges offer relief to jam-packed courts

By DAPHNE WANI 


THE judiciary is confident it will dispose of the backlog of cases with the increase in the number of judges, says Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia.
Sir Salamo said the swearing-in of five new judges of the National Court and Supreme Court by Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae yesterday had brought the total number of judges to 43.
“These new judges will relieve the more senior judges of their current workload of cases,” he said.
“The judiciary is confident that it will address the huge backlog of cases that are piling up in court.”
He said the judiciary was confident that it could now deal with pressing court cases quickly.
“We are confident that we will dispose of almost all of the election petition cases by June 2018, with the assistance of these new judges,” Sir Salamo said.
The new judges are Justice Jim Wala Tamate, Acting Justice Sinclair Peniel Gora, Acting Justice David Abiri Susame, Acting Justice John Ritchie Benaud Kaumi and Acting Justice John Kamane Numapo.
Justice Tamate will be based in Port Moresby and assigned to the human rights track to assist Justice David Cannings.
Acting justices Kaumi and Numapo will be based in the Lae National Court taking the number there to four.
Acting Justice Susame will be based in Kokopo to replace the late Justice Salatiel Lenalia.
Acting Justice Gora will be posted to the Wewak National Court to assist Justice Iowa Geita.

Attack on 6-Year-Old Girl by Pathetic and Perverted Individuals – Calls for Community and Church Action on False Belief ‘Sanguma

 

The Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has expressed outrage on behalf of the Nation after the serious abuse of a 6-year-old girl in Enga Province by adult males claiming sanguma as their excuse.

 

PM O’Neill said police had been dispatched to investigate the abuse, and any individual who tries to impede the lawful investigation will be arrested.

 

The Prime Minister said the attacks cannot be tolerated and the abusers must be exposed, and this requires leadership from community elders.

 

“Lets be clear, sanguma beliefs are absolute rubbish,” the Prime Minister said.

 

“In the modern day sanguma is not a real cultural practice, it is false belief and involves the violent abuse and torture of women and girls by pathetic and perverted individuals.

 

“The men behind these murders are cowards who are looking for someone to blame because of their own failure in life.

 

“These violent acts are against our values as a nation and are completely unacceptable.”

 

The Prime Minister said local communities hold the key to ending sanguma activities, but leaders must step up and be strong.

 

“In the case of the young girl who was recently attacked in Enga, we are grateful for the brave people who gave her first aid and took her to a safe location.

 

“The nation needs more of these unsung heroes who do the right thing, even when it means standing up against people in their own communities.

 

“At the same time, any community leaders who allow this abuse to continue are just as bad as the men who carry out the crimes.

 

“As a Christian Nation these abuses are also an attack on our religion, that goes against all the teachings of the Church.

 

“The Christian faith that we share teaches us to love one another and uphold the rights of the young and the weak.

 

“In Churches around our country, I call on Leaders to discuss this issued and how you would deal with this violence if it was tried in your communities.

 

“Our Government will keep working with Churches and communities, as well as the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, to end these false beliefs and to protect the lives of all Papua New Guineans. “

No One To Remain In Lombrum, Says Kantha

 

Source: Post-Courier

 

Following the Court ruling dismissing the application by Behrous Boochani and his lawyer Ben Lomai to put on hold the decommissioning process and restore services at Manus Refugee Processing Centre, acting Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha has urged all refugees and failed asylum seekers to move immediately to their alternative accommodation provided at Lorengau.

Mr Kantha said that they no longer have a legal basis to remain at the decommissioned facility and reiterated the statement from the Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas that it was impossible to restore any services.

They must move immediately for the interest of their own safety, hygiene and health, he said.

The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority has sent provincial health inspectors into the decommissioned facility yesterday to make an assessment which they are going to likely declare the place uninhabitable for anyone to reside as there are no longer access to basic services, water and waste and garbage is piling that is posing serious risks of exposure to contagious diseases such as dysentery and cholera,” Mr Kantha said.

“The residents must move immediately as the PNGICSA and authorities is assessing the situation and may take steps to move them for the interest of all residents including staff who are within the vicinity that may also be exposed to contagious diseases as a result of wastes pilling up from residents refusing to move.

“All services including security and medical services are available at the new accommodation sites and there is no reason to remain at Lombrum.”

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.

Stanley Liria’s Petition Withdrawn

The Supreme Court reference that was filed on the legality of polling conducted on Sunday in the Ialibu-Pangia electorate, in Southern Highlands Province, will no longer be pursued in court.

This reference was filed on July 10 by runner-up in the Ialibu-Pangia seat, Stanley Liria, questioning the legality of polling that was conducted on Sunday, July 2, after it was deferred from Friday, June 30.

In the reference, the high court was asked to interpret section 130 of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government elections.

But lawyers representing Liria today asked the Supreme Court to have the entire proceeding withdrawn.

The withdrawal comes amidst chaos in Mendi town, the provincial capital of the Southern Highlands Province, following the declaration of its provincial seat to incumbent MP, William Powi.

The situation on ground is calm but tense, while shops and services remain closed after the shooting and killing of two police officers, and the destruction of properties.

However, the election petition, which was filed by Liria, remains in the Court of Disputed Returns.

The petition went for direction hearing on September 20 to assist parties prepare themselves for the actual hearing.

The main basis of the petition is the alleged illegal polling on Sunday, which breaches section 130(1)(b) of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government elections.

There are three grounds of the petition; illegal practices, bribery and undue influence.

Petitioner Stanley Liria intends to call 184 witnesses for the trial while Ialibu-Pangia MP and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s lawyer indicated calling between 15-20 witnesses.

The petition will return to court later for a trial date to be set.

Source: Loop PNG October 11, 2017