Court dismisses Asylum seekers cases

The Supreme Court has entirely dismissed two case filed by 302 Asylum seekers held at the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

A three-judge Supreme Court Bench consisting of Justices Goodwin Poole, David Cannings and Hitelai Polume-Kiele dismissed the two proceedings due to technical issues that the Asylum Seekers lawyer, Ben Lomai did not comply with.

Justices Goodwin Poole and Hitelai Polume-Kiele allowed an application that was moved this morning by Lawyer representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato and the Chief Migration Officer, Mataio Rabura to dismiss the case.

They said Lomai failed to comply with Form 6 of the Supreme Court rules and the cases were not instituted in the right manner.

The cases were not filed in the right manner because the applications were not signed by the individual Asylum Seekers but their lawyer.

Justice Poole in giving his decision said other similar cases filed in the Supreme Court were also struck out because the applications were not signed by the right applicants or persons.

Justice David Cannings however refused the application moved this morning saying it was not a mandatory requirement for the applicants (Asylum Seekers) to sign such applications and it can be signed by their lawyer.

 He said such section 57 application (enforcement of human rights) are unique and quite different in nature adding that Human Rights laws in PNG are a critical component in PNG which apply to both citizens and non-citizens.

Justice Cannings said the court should be slow on dismissing such applications on technical grounds.

Speaking to the media this afternoon, Lomai said they will now begin the long process to getting all the individual 300 plus Asylum Seekers in Manus sign a new application before it is filed in the Supreme Court.

(Picture: Lawyers representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato and the Chief Migration Officer, Mataio Rabura and the state coming out of court this afternoon.)


Sally Pokiton