Court stays Parlt sittings

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O’Neill’s House session case adjourned to Thursday

By CHARLES MOI
THE Supreme Court has stayed Parliament sessions scheduled for both today and April 20 next year, pending its determination of constitutional issues raised in the case filed by Ialibu-Pangia MP Peter O’Neill.
O’Neill, represented by lawyer Greg Sheppard, had asked the court to determine whether Speaker Job Pomat was right in recalling Parliament on Nov 17 after MPs had passed a motion on Nov 13 that it be adjourned to Dec 1.
The Nov 17 sitting, which Opposition MPs did not attend as they were out of town, also saw the passing of the 2021 National Budget and the adjournment to April next year.
The Supreme Court panel comprising Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justice David Cannings, Justice Derek Hartshorn, Justice George Manuhu and Justice Ere Kariko ordered that both adjournment dates be stayed.
Justice Cannings informed the parties to return on Thursday, Dec 3, to give submissions on the substantive matter filed by O’Neill.

Sir Gibbs Salika

Sir Gibbs said: “Before us is an application that concerns two purported adjournments of parliament. The first of those purported adjournments is to adjourn parliament to tomorrow (today).
“That decision was made on the 13 November 2020. The substantive proceedings are yet to be argued.
“The question of whether an interim order is appropriate has been raised with the parties and the parties have consented to this court making such an order pursuant to its inherent jurisdiction.”
Sir Gibbs said taking into account all the relevant considerations – the balance of convenience and the interest of justice – the judges ordered that Parliament’s decision on Nov 13 to adjourn to Dec 1 be stayed pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.
The panel ordered that the purported decision of Parliament on Nov 17 to adjourn parliament to April 20, 2021, be stayed pending hearing and determination of the substantive application.
O’Neill has been given until noon today to file and serve any further affidavits.
The interveners are to file and serve any further affidavits by 11am on Dec 2.
Written extracts of submissions are to be filed and served by 5pm on Dec 2.
The hearing of the substantive application is set for Dec 3.
The other parties in the case are Speaker Job Pomat represented by lawyer Charles Mende and Minister for Justice and Attorney-General Pila Niningi represented by lawyer Nemo Yalo.
O’Neill is asking the court to declare that:

  • THE Speaker’s decision to recall Parliament on Nov 17 was unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective;
  • THE meeting of Parliament on Nov 17 was unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective;
  • THE 2021 national budget purportedly passed on Nov 17 was unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective; and,
  • THE decision to adjourn parliament to April 20, 2021 was unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective.

13 comments

  • The third arms of government is very much functioning and is alive. Yes, we the ordinary citizens of this country are watching and seeing what our honourable members are creating their mess in the parliament and then they bring it up to the Judiciary to determine whatever their action(s) is right or not. I doubt whether our MPs are inducted once they enter the Parliament to uphold the Constitution of our country and the standing orders of the National Parliament???

  • DEPUTY SPEAKER ERRED IN GRANTING A NON MINISTERS MOTION TO DEFER PARLIAMENT SITTING…THEREFORE ADJOURNMENT TO DEC WAS INVALID.

    SPEAKER POMAT MADE THE RIGHT CALL TO RECONVENE PARLIAMENT ACCORDING TO PARLIAMENTARY STANDING ORDERS.
    THEREFORE, THE RECALLING AND THE SUBSEQUENT SITTING ARE IN ORDER…NA YUPELA STAP WE NA MEKIM WANEM? SAVE LO LAW TU O?

    THE REQUIRED QUORUM WAS PRESENT AND AFTER CARRYING OUT PARLIAMENTARY BUSINESS ADJOURNED TO APRIL 2021.

    SEE YOU ALL THEN!!

  • there is no free handouts with PMJM so the self claimed good leaders are running around to form a new Government to have access to the countries depleted treasury to increase their purse to prepare for 2022 elections/buy votes. be reminded that it was the wish of majority of PNG citizens to change the O’Neil-Abel government after so much corruption which was visible in the eyes of the ordinary. when you ask many ordinary citizens on the street, they will tell you that they don’t worry about corruption now when Marape is in Government. Marape unlike all the past PMs, he is trying to ensure that benefits to citizens are maximised. it would be good to allow the Marape Government to serve its term fully and see how it goes in the next parliament after 2022 elections.

  • Yakira Kale,where is the 10.2mill paper handout by PMJM?Corruption is every MPs normal life so lets dont blame.

  • A Westminster government system is rule or govern by majority….. very simple which can also be understood by an Elementary Student.

  • It’s likely the government may win the case. The Standing Order is clear. PARLIAMENT was in session to pass two crucial legislation. The first session went well with the passing of ICAC law. The second session was interrupted, with sudden movement of MPs crossing the floor of Parliament to opposition. The opposition using the numerical strength, adjourned Parliament to 1st December. What is interesting to note is that the adjournment in SO is very clear. The appointment minister calls for adjournment of Parliament. This is the first mistake from opposition I noted. The government regrouped, recalled Parliament, stating the adjournment was improper. There’s in the SO to recall Parliament to complete parliament business, the important business was to table the 2021 that was interrupted. The SO is more specific on the quorum to pass the budget is one third or 36 to 39 MPs. There were 50 MPs in attendance. In my view the government recalling Parliament to rectify wrongs, finish the Parliament business is within the SO which provides how Parliament is to be managed and administered. After reading the SO, I’m satisfied that the government has followed the rules of Parliament SO. Iam of the opinion that our constitution was not broken , hence the government is likely to win the case. However, the government will deal with the numbers to stay in power.

  • THIS GOVERNMENT HAS A BIG EGO. IT LIKES TO PUT UP BABY SENSED, DREAMY EYED SLOGANS, TAKES SHORT CUT ON OUR RESOURCE LAWS, DOES NOT CONSULT LANDOWNERS, DOES NOT VISIT LAND OWNERS TO GET THEIR VIEWS, REMOTELY CONTROLS PORGERA FROM THE USELESS TINY HILLS OF WAIGANI, IT IS STUBBORN, IT TAKES SIDES INSTEAD OF BEING THE ENTITY TO UNITE LANDOWNERS AS IN THE CASE OF PORGERA, MADE EMPTY PROMISES TO REDUNDANT EMPLOYEES, NO ACQUITTALS AS YET OF THE COVID 19 MILLIONS….

    IT HAS TO GO… AND IT SHOULD BY GOD’S WILL

  • Court , Court, PNG, please the World is laughing at PNG Politicians, PO and the mobs, is it your birth rights? Shame on you Politicians, please when are you going to raise PNG Flag, it is steel sleeping.

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