High court stays university decision

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THE Waigani National Court has granted an interim stay of a decision by the University of PNG to stop members of the Students Representative Council (SRC) from attending classes.
The order was granted yesterday by Justice Colin Makail after SRC president Kenneth Rapa and 12 other student leaders filed a notice of motion on Monday seeking leave to judicially review the university’s decision that terminated them and an interim stay of that decision.
Justice Makail was satisfied that the students had an arguable case and granted them leave to move their review application.
Justice Makail also granted an interim stay to the university’s decision to maintain the students’ status quo and allow them to attend classes until further orders of the court.
Justice Makail said the granting of leave and the interim stay orders should be a lesson to the students that the university was a learning institution and not a tribal zone.
He hoped that the interim stay of the university’s decision would not give the students a platform to continue with what they allegedly did which resulted in their termination.
Parties will return to court on Oct 20 for inter-parte hearing on the interim stay.
The students’ lawyer, Ramsey Pariwa, from the Public Solicitor’s Office, told the court that the students were served with their termination notice on Aug 9.
Pariwa said the university gave the students seven days to appeal their termination to the council appeals committee.
He said the students appealed but the appeals committee did not respond.
He said the students had exhausted administrative review processes and were seeking judicial review because classes for semester one ended today and examinations would start next Friday.
The students were terminated by the university on the basis that their actions during student unrests and boycotting of classes in May, June and July were detrimental to the university.

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