Students seek judicial review

National

By DEMAS TIEN
SEVEN student leaders are seeking an urgent judicial review of the University of PNG’s decision to terminate them from the university.
The students, through their lawyer Ramsy Pariwa from the Public Solicitor’s Office, filed the application for leave for judicial review on Monday and moved it ex-parte yesterday before Justice Leka Nablu in the Waigani National Court.
Pariwa informed the court that the application also sought a stay to the university’s decision to exclude the students and any other eviction and vacation exercises conducted against them until the substantive issue was completed.
He said the students had a standing to bring the proceeding as they were directly affected by the decision of the university.
He submitted that the students had an arguable case because, among other reasons, it was a gross error of law by the university’s failure to properly charge the students under the student disciplinary statute and give them an opportunity to be heard before imposing a penalty of permanent exclusion.
The students are Livai Kuaken, Arthur Amos, Jamie Sali, Hercules Jim, Alois Kaluwe, Chris Kipalan and Steward Thoke.
They were members of the Students Representative Council until they were terminated on Aug 9 on the basis that their actions during the students’ unrests and boycotting of classes in May, June and July were improper, detrimental to the interests of the university and affected peace and good order in campus.
Pariwa said the unrest and boycotting of classes was carried out by the student body demanding Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, by way of a petition, to step down from office.
He said on Sept 1 and 2 the seven students appealed the decision for their exclusion from the university’s council appeals committee but the decision of their appeal was still pending.
He said the students attempted several times to attend classes pending their appeal but security personnel prevented them from entering campus.
Pariwa submitted that semester one was approaching its 12th week and there were two weeks remaining before the final examination.
He said the students needed to attend classes immediately for them to submit their assignments and be able to sit for the exam.
He submitted that the appeals committee has failed to meet immediately meet within 21 days upon the lodging of the appeals as per Section 8(3) and Section 9(1) of the student discipline statue to deal with the appeal.
He said 21 days has lapsed and there was no answer from the appeals committee. He said this caused the students to seek judicial review.

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