Date to be set for refugees’ appeal

A hearing date will be given by the Supreme Court today as to when the refugees’ appeal against the court’s refusal to order the restoration of services at the decommissioned centre in Lombrum, will be heard.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia told Ben Lomai, the lawyer representing refugee Behrouz Boochani, to return to court on Friday (today) with certain court documents on the appeal before a hearing date can be set.

Lomai went to court on Wednesday with an application that he filed on November 14, asking the Chief Justice to disqualify himself from being part of that three-man Supreme Court bench that will hear that appeal.

Even before that application was moved, Lomai indicated the possibility of withdrawing the application after the Chief Justice enquired if it was filed based on instruction from his clients in Manus.

The matter will return today for directions.

Sir Salamo indicated allocating a date in the second week of December, provided Lomai prepares the draft index.

The appeal was filed on the grounds that Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia erred in finding that the Manus Regional Processing Centre was closed in compulsion to the Supreme Court’s ruling on 26 April 2016.

The status of the new facilities in East Lorengau and Hillside and safety of the refugees and asylum seekers are other grounds, amongst others.

Sally Pokiton