Trial goes in favour of UPNG admin

The UPNG student trial went in favour of the University Registrar, Jennifer Popat, and the administration after the court found the student reaffirmation form did not infringe on any rights of the students.

The ruling came today after an hour trial was conducted at the Waigani National Human Rights Court by Justice David Cannings.

Justice Cannings, after hearing counsels’ submissions, ruled that the reaffirmation form issued by the university administration was to make students refrain from ‘illegal activities’ or detrimental activities and it was not capable of taking away any human rights of the student body.

He however, said the form must only be restricted to illegal activities during their enrolment and that must be read down so it does not conflict with the rights of the students.

Justice Cannings made the ruling today before he refused two main orders sought by the students from the National Court in the trial.

The first order sought by the students in the trial against Popat and the administration is for the court to declare that the June 2016 reaffirmation form is illegal as it is intended to restrain the rights of students under sections 41, 42, 45, 46 and 47 of the constitution. This order was refused.

The second order sought was for the court to order a permanent injunction to restrain the university administration from urging, forcing or threatening students from signing the forms. This order was also refused by the court.

Parties involved in the case were ordered to pay their own cost.

(Caption: File picture of students after a recent case in court.)




Sally Pokiton