Court kicks out Gore’s review

The Waigani National Court today dismissed the judicial review proceeding that was filed by Sohe MP and Minister for Religion, Youth and Community Development Delilah Gore.

Gore filed the Judicial Review proceeding following the Leadership Tribunal recommendation on August 10 this year to suspend her from office for three months without entitlements. 

The recommendation came after members of the tribunal made up of Chairman Justice Poole and senior magistrates Mark Selefkariu and Ernest Wilmont found her guilty to one count of misconduct in office.

Gore filed the proceeding on the basis the tribunal members did not take into account the fact that she was already suspended from office during the hearing of the tribunal, which went on for two months prior to their recommendation for suspension of three months without pay.

Today Justice Les Gavara-Nanu in his ruling said he found no error of law in the tribunal’s recommendation of August 10 and that the leader’s automatic suspension of two months was to protect the office of the leader and the people during the tribunal hearing.

He also found that the penalty recommendation by the tribunal was not unreasonable as the leader’s conduct was not reasonable and illegal.

Justice Gavara-Nanu found that the cabin crew member was threatened by the leader and told to take her seat, was only doing her routine obligation in ensuring the safety of passengers onboard that flight from Girua airport.

He said the MP put the integrity of the office she was holding into question through her improper conduct in the public.

On September 10, Justice Gavara-Nanu granted interim injunction to halt the head of state from making Gore’s three month suspension effective.

That interim induction has also been removed along with the dismissal of the proceeding.

On July 27 the tribunal members found Gore guilty for failing to switch off her mobile phone, an electronic device, that is contrary to the PNG Civil Aviation Rules Part 91.7(a) and section 5.2 of Air Niugini’s Standard Operating procedures.

Here the tribunal’s finding showed the Minister told the cabin crew member to take her seat and later threatened to have the pilot and the flight attendant sacked asking if she (flight attendant) knew who Gore was.

 Justice Poole said a Member of Parliament is a member of the legislature and does not have the right to interfere into the administrative business of a company to hire and fire.

He said an MP occupies a higher office that comes with privileges, adding that the minister’s actions were unjustifiable.

In finding Gore guilty to the second allegation, the tribunal was satisfied that that she allowed her personal integrity to be called into question and demeaned her office when she threatened to have the flight attendant sacked.

Sally Pokiton