UPNG students seek judicial review of termination

Seven UPNG Student leaders who were terminated from school over their alleged involvement in the boycotting of classes have gone before the Waigani National Court with an urgent application.

The notice of motion filed on Sept 19 was allowed to be heard ex-parte (without the respondents) today after the court was satisfied that the motion filed was served to UPNG and the state and was urgent.

Lawyer representing the terminated students served the application to the office of the Secretary of Justice and Attorney General on Monday when it was filed.

The motion moved today seeks leave of the court to conduct a judicial review against the actions of the University Council when it permanently excluded the students from studies on Aug 29.

A ruling on the leave application will be done by Justice Leka Nablu at 9.30am on Friday.

The motion also seeks interim orders to stay the applicants’ permanent exclusion from studies pending the final determination of the substantive appeal.

Applicants Livai Kuaken, Arthur Amos, Jamie Sali, Hercules Jim, Alois Kaluweh, Chris Kipalan and Steward Thoke were all permanently excluded from studies on Aug 29.

Their lawyer told the court they appealed their termination on the 1st and 2nd September and as per the Students Discipline Statute, the Appeals Committee must meet within 21 days and decide on the appeal.

The 21 days lapsed today with no response yet from the Appeals committee.

Their lawyer also told the court that the University failed to inform the students of the alleged breach acts that led to their termination.

They say the University failed to charge the students, and also failed to give the students an opportunity to respond to the allegations leveled against them.

Relying on relevant sections under the Students Discipline Statute, the terminated students say the actions of the university is a gross error of the law.

Respondents listed in the motion are Mange Matui as Acting Pro Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs of the University of PNG, Albert Mellam as Vice Chancellor of University of PNG, UPNG and the State.

Sally Pokiton