Supreme Court

Paraka’s leave application adjourned

Presided over by Justice David Cannings as single judge, Cannings has adjourned the matter giving sufficient time for the lawyer to prepare his documents after Paraka informed the court of an additional document that was presented to him over the weekend to support his leave application.

Representing himself in court, Paraka said the additional document which is required to support his leave application was filed yesterday morning therefore, he has asked the court to adjourn the matter to next week to prepare the documents before he makes submissions.

Former Auditor General cleared off corruption charges

The prosecution stemmed from allegations that Mr Nauga, whilst the Auditor-General around 2013, fraudulently awarded two contracts to an accounting firm, Frank Benabo and Associates, to audit the DSIP funds of two districts.

Mr Nauga was criminally prosecuted around March 2013, two days before his contract of employment as the Auditor-General of Papua New Guinea expired.

He was slapped with four charges which included abuse of office, official corruption, conspiracy to defraud and misappropriation.

Court summons convicts

On May 31, 2022, the Supreme Court in its interpretation of Section 103 (3) (e) of the Constitution, settled the legal position that a person cannot contest the National General Elections and be qualified to be a member of Parliament if he/she is convicted of an indictable offence that carries a sentence of imprisonment for more than 9 months, effective from June 25 2002.

The only two exceptions to this interpretation are unless the conviction and sentence has been quashed by the Supreme Court or the convicted person has been pardoned under section 151 of the Constitution.

EC Told To Comply With Court Orders

He said following the decision, the Attorney General has written to Electoral Commissioner Simon Sinai advising him of this decision.

The Electoral Commissioner however is yet to make a statement on this landmark ruling and the steps EC has in place to carry out these orders.

“It is only proper for EC to comply with the orders to avoid being in contempt with the law”, he added.

The Solicitor General further explained that the EC must undertake due diligence and put in place a screening process for every candidate who nominates to contest elections.

Court stays Parliament sitting

This means there will be no Parliament sitting tomorrow, December 1st, and on April 20th 2021, until the court hears substantive proceedings then can make its ruling.

In handing down the decision late this afternoon,  after nearly six hours of court hearing, Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika said the five man bench, has considered all the arguments presented before the court, before arriving at this decision.

Court yet to hear case of Nov 17 sitting

Interested parties who applied to take part in the proceedings as interveners include; Prime Minister James Marape, Treasurer, Ian Lingstuckey, leader of government business, Renbo Paita, Clerk of Parliament and Paul Paraka as a private citizen.

Ruling on whether to grant these applications will be heard at 12:30pm today, after it was adjourned by the five men bench.

Opposition leader, Belden Namah has also shown interest in the proceedings.

The court is expected to hear his application at 12:30 when it resumes.

Speaker's Pandemic Act challenge dismissed

The Speaker of Parliament Job Pomat in his application stated that under Section 110 (1) of the Constitution, the Speaker is obliged to certify under the National Seal in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Parliament that a law has been made by Parliament.

Pomat argued that under the Standing Order 221 of the Parliament, ‘every act made by the Parliament shall be presented to the Speaker for certification under the National Seal, having been first certified by the signature of the Clerk as having been passed by the Parliament.

Namah challenges National Pandemic Act 2020 in court

Young and Williams Lawyers, Counsel for Namah, lodged the Supreme Court Application (SCC OS/4/2020) at 9.36am on Wednesday.

Namah in a statement said the Opposition has applied to have the Act struck down as unconstitutional under Section 41 of the Constitution by the Supreme Court.

He clarified that they have find the National Pandemic Act to be contrary to the Constitution for the following reasons:-

PM’s election remains Supreme Court matter

Namah, in his capacity as the Opposition leader, had sought court declaration over the legality of Marape’s election on May 30, 2019.

Prime Minister Marape’s election to the government’s top post remains a Supreme Court matter after a five-man bench dismissed his application to stop Namah from disputing his election as Prime Minister.

Interested parties told to file joinder application

This is the reference Namah filed on September 23, seeking an interpretation over the legality of James Marape's election as Prime Minister on May 30th, 2019.

Lawyers representing the referrer (Namah) and those of other interested parties; The Speaker of parliament, Attorney General, Deputy Opposition Leader and Prime Minister James Marape, appeared in court for directions today.