The National – Tuesday, June 28, 2011
By SAMUEL RAITANO
THE National Court has issued a stay order on a government minister’s decision to revoke the appointment of the board of trustees of the National Museum and Art Gallery (NMAG).
The board members had sought the court order because they believed the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Guma Wau had acted beyond his powers in making the decision on June 16.
The board members argued that they were appointed by the governor-general through the advice of the National Executive Council.
The court indicated that the matter contained certain issues of law which required further deliberations and deferred the matter to July 4.
The board members argued that the trustees of the national museum performed their duties under the NMAG Act and did not operate under the influence or control of forces apart from authoritative guidelines in accordance with legislative procedures.
They said the minister’s revocation of their appointment, which was made by the head of state through the NEC’s advice, was an “act that did not have a provision under the NMAG Act as well as other legislations guarding them”.
They said there was no clear notice of their removal by the minister.
They denied being given the right to be heard by the minister as a means of natural justice.
It is understood that the appointment of the board members by the head of state involved a three-year term.
The state lawyer did not have any objection to the stay order application.
Justice Royale Thompson said the plaintiffs clearly had an arguable case for a judicial review.