Justice Colin Makail errs (again)

By PNG Echo

CourtA three-man bench of the Supreme Court, earlier today, unanimously overturned a National Court decision by Justice Colin Makail to join police officers Gitua and Damaru to the judicial review of Chief Magistrate, Nerrie Eliakim’s decision to grant an arrest warrant against Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill.

Justices Kandakasi, Hartshorn and Kassman  found that Justice Makail was wrong and had fallen into error in granting Damaru and Gitua, as members of the police force, leave to act outside of their chain of command in joining them, independently, to the judicial review.

In their judgment they affirmed that:

The proper person to be a party to a judicial review proceeding on behalf of the Police Force …is the Police Commissioner.

And the Police Commissioner was already a party to these proceeding.

The bench were troubled by Mr Damaru’s admission that his and the interests of the Police Commissioner were different ”

because he wanted the arrest warrant executed but the Police Commissioner did not.

The learned judges gave their binding legal opinion that a police officer is not entitled to execute a warrant against the wishes of the Police Commissioner by way of a court proceeding.

Clearly, this bench of the Supreme Court would not entertain the courts being used in this manner by maverick police officers.

They went on:

Further, that a police officer wishes to execute an arrest warrant against the wishes or orders of the Police Commissioner raises issues as to why that Police Officer is of that view and believes he has such a particular interest in executing the warrant that he seeks court enforcement, against the position taken by the Police Commissioner.

I have a theory on that: could it be that their successes in the courts of Justice Colin Makail have led them into that error – that his errors have been instrumental in fostering the belief that the zealotry and insubordination of these officers is a reasoned response? The Supreme Court begs to differ.

Stay tuned: tomorrow, I will explore that theory further

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Anjo/Ramoi fail: Twivey stays.

By PNG Echo.

Noel Anjo Kolao and Sonja Barry Ramoi have been unsuccessful in their bid to have the PNG courts disqualify lawyer, Tiffany Twivey-Nonggorr and her law firm Twivey Lawyers from representing the Prime Minister in his defamation suit against the two self-styled activists with strong links to the Opposition Leader.

Justice Kandakasi handed down the decision last Monday in an on-the-spot decision at the National Court, Waigani that saw Anjo in attendance but Ramoi absent.

Anjo and Ramoi were ordered by the court to pay the Prime Minister’s costs in the amount of K1500. Continue reading Anjo/Ramoi fail: Twivey stays.

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Polye: Courts will not overrule PM

Is there too much overlapping and duplication of processes in the operation of the State of PNG?  Does the latest court challenge of former Treasurer Don Polye highlight the excesses? Asks PNG Echo

Former Treasurer. Don Polye
Former Treasurer. Don Polye

Yesterday (April 8) in the National Courts at Waigani, Justice Kandakasi declined to make an order re-instating Mr Polye as Treasurer pending a review of the correctness of the grounds for his dismissal.

Justice Kandakasi reminded Mr Polye that he was a judge and not the Prime Minister where the prerogative lay.

In another submission, which also crossed over legal boundaries and jurisdictions, Mr Napu lawyer for Mr Polye, sought a restraining order on the K3 billion loan that was obtained to buy Oil Search shares pending proceedings to establish the legality of the loan.

While Oil Search lawyers called for an adjournment because of the lack of notice emanating from Mr Polye’s lawyer, lawyers for the state argued that, as the Ombudsman’s Commission (OC) was looking into the case, if a ruling had to be made then it should be that the persons named in that inquiry should be directed to comply with the order until it was lifted or until there were further directives of the courts.

Justice Kandakasi so ordered.

The case was adjourned until 6 May when the learned judge expected that the state would have filed affidavits establishing the loans legality

Lawyer Tiffany Twivey -Nonggorr, acting for the State, said information establishing the legality of the processes had already been collated for the OC and she expected that they would have the necessary affidavits filed by 30 April in readiness.

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