UPNG SRC to Seek Judicial Review on Council’s Decision

The National Court today granted leave to the UPNG Student Representative Council to apply further for a Judicial Review of the University Council’s decision on May 24, ordering students to vacate the campus within 48 hours.

The interim injunction seeking the stay of this order has also been further extended until the matter returns for directions hearing on June 22, 2016.

Justice Collin Makail however, rejected the plaintiff’s (SRC) application for Judicial Review of the UPNG Council’s decision to deploy police to the campus.

He maintained that the invitation of police to the campus was done to maintain law and order and if students had any concerns of police behaviour on campus, there were avenues available for students to take these concerns up to.

He also rejected the application on grounds that a separate case based on Human Rights was also before the National Court.

In granting leave to the Student Representative Council, Makail was satisfied that the SRC had sufficient interest in this case as it affected their welfare on campus and that SRC had the necessary standing to file this case on behalf of the student body.

Meantime, the defendant’s counsel argued that the notice to vacate within 48 hours was sufficient and was done to give time to the senate to meet and restructure the semester and its programs.

UPNG Registrar, Jennifer Popat in her affidavit claimed by 6:00pm on the 26th of May, almost 3 quarters of the student population had already vacated the campus.

Justice Makail however demanded for evidence of head count to verify this and further asked the defendant’s counsel to provide evidence of the university’s repatriation plan after the 48 hours was over.

The defendants failed to show cause as to how their client would have repatriated the students back to their places of origin.

The judge therefore found that the 48 hours was insufficient and granted leave to the Student Representative Council.

Caption: File Picture

Ruth Rungula