State challenges Manus cases

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THE Supreme Court is expected to hear next month two applications by the Government to dismiss two substantive proceedings and an application for summary judgment filed by the refugees on Manus Island.
The applications were filed in the Supreme Court by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato and Chief Migration Officer Mataio Rabura.
Justice Stephen Kassman yesterday set October 27 for the hearing.
Lawyer Ian Molloy, representing Pato and Rabura, said the proceedings filed by the refugees should be dismissed because jurisdiction and procedural issues.
Molloy argued that lawyer Ben Lomai, representing the refugees, had no jurisdiction to sign the applications, which should have been signed by the refugees themselves and not their lawyer.
Molloy argued that the refugees’ cases were filed pursuant to Section 57 of the Constitution, which must go before a full court for determination.
Lomai is relying on a five-man bench Supreme Court ruling handed down on April 26 which said the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was unconstitutional and illegal.
He is seeking summary judgment for compensation for the breach of the refugees’ rights regarding their illegal detention on Manus Island.

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