Supreme Court

Court refuses bid to stay amendment debate

This comes after arguments were put before a three-man Supreme Court bench on February 27.

A unanimous decision from that bench was delivered today by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia.

The court was of the view that serious issues were raised by the Ombudsman in the application over the proposed amendments however there was no evidence or proper material before the court, of those who will be affected by the proposed amendments.

Court will rule on bid to stay fee amendments

The Ombudsman Commission moved its application seeking interim orders on Monday before a three-man Supreme Court bench.

Counsel to the Ombudsman, Dr Vergil Narokobi, said section 19(4) of the Supreme Court rules gives the Supreme Court the jurisdiction, or powers, to grant interim relief for such application brought under section 19 of the constitition.

He said under section 19 of the Supreme Court rules, the court can declare a proposed law to be unconstitutional.

New judges welcomed in ceremonial sitting

These judges were sworn into office last year.

They are Justice William Neil, Justice Robert Lee Lindsay, Justice Terrence Harold Foulds, Justice Jeffery Leonard Shepherd and female judge Leka Nama Nablu.

Justice William Neil was not present today as he was on medical leave.

A Supreme Court Ceremonial sitting is held every year and these judges were not officially welcomed last year due to the sitting that was held in honour of the late Justice Catherine Anne Davani.

OC bids to stay nomination fee increase

Lawyer representing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was allowed to join as a party or intervener in the reference on Thursday when the matter came before a three-man Supreme Court bench.

The application was listed to be moved in court however it was adjourned to next week because the Prime Minister’s lawyer was yet to see the Hansard or the official recording of Parliament session on January 26.

Kulunga’s Slip rule application heard

The Slip Rule application was moved before Justice Panuel Mogish who sat as a single Supreme Court Judge. He reserved his decision on the application to later date.

Kulunga’s lawyer submitted to the court that the Supreme Court Appeal’s decision which was handed down on Dec 16, 2016 must be revisited because there were no other cases of such nature.

But the State’s lawyer told the court all other issues that the former Police Commissioner is raising now in the Slip Rule were already raised in the appeal.

Hearing commence on reference relating to UBS loan

This reference arises from an originating summons what was filed in 2014 and was referred to the high court by the late Justice Catherine Davani on Jan 28, 2015.

The reference has a total of 11 constitutional questions surrounding the alleged improper borrowing of K3 billion from the Union Bank of Switzerland AG by the Government. It was heard by a five-man Supreme Court bench on Friday.

Supreme Court allows appeal on ITFS disbanding to be heard

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia on Wednesday afternoon ordered a stay against the National Court’s decision on Dec 2,2016 which dismissed the judicial review.

The review was filed by Sam Koim as Chairman of the Investigation Task Force Sweep team over its disbanding in 2014.

He filed an appeal on Jan 6, 2017 on 13 grounds against the decision of trial judge, Justice Collin Makail.

Dates available for Western trio’s appeals

Justice Stephen Kassman said there are dates available in February however, that will depend on how fast lawyers file their submissions in court.  

He made these remarks on Friday when the matter went for directions hearing before him. The case will return for mention at 1.30pm today.

The Supreme Court will be dealing with nine sets of appeals in total, two appeals from each applicant against the National Court’s finding of guilt and their ten-year sentence terms.

OC seeks clarification from Supreme Court

The OC wants to find out whether the proposed increase of nomination fees, from K1,000 to K10,000, and the security of costs of an election petition, from K5,000 to K20,000, are constitutional.

“The Commission, through the Supreme Court Reference, will ask the Court to consider the question of whether the proposed amendments to section 103 of the Constitution, and section 87 and section 209 of the Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections are constitutional,” the OC said in a statement.

Koim appeal against decision to dismiss review

The Judicial review was filed in 2014 over the disbanding of the Investigation Task Force Sweep team; a body that National Court ruled was created as a result of a policy decision. 

Koim filed the appeal on Jan 6, 2017 listing Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, the National Executive Council, Attorney General Ano Pala and the state as respondents.

Koim and the Prime Minister’s lawyers appeared before Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia this morning for hearing, however that did not eventuate because the Prime Minister’s lawyers said they were not served the Notice of Motion.