Letters & Opinions

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Questions on workings of judiciary

THE last bastion of hope for the people of Papua New Guinea, the judiciary system, is allegedly not working as it should be.

This is my view after keenly following some cases in our higher court where people who have sworn an oath to uphold the law and protect our judiciary are now allegedly abusing that process.

One classic example would be the matter on Peter Yama versus the Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited. A layman would understand that the Supreme Court has spoken in that there was a breach of contract. But officers of the court took it further and asked the Supreme Court to review their decision on the basis that they had slipped. Again the same bench revisited the matter and ruled that they did not slip and that their earlier decision stands, which Mr Yama is to be paid.

Now the officers have again defied the orders and paid these monies to an agent. But the most outrages action by the officers was to get a stay order effectively interfering with a constitutional role of the police force by stopping them to arrest certain senior officials and lawyers after a complaint was laid by Mr Yama, exercising his democratic right to file a complaint of a criminal nature by these men.

Police too have their own processes and procedures in determining whether there is enough evidence to prosecute a suspect and once they think they have enough then it is their constitutional duty to arrest these persons. All these were not considered.

Where are we going? I have been a staunch believer of our judiciary system for many years but now I am having doubts about the whole system.

Bush Lawyer
Port Moresby

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