Decision on refugee’s application reserved


THE Supreme Court has reserved its decision in relation to an application filed by Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani and others seeking damages for  their unlawful detention at the Manus Island processing centre.
A three-man bench of Justice Derek Hartshorn, Justice Nicholas Kirriwom and Justice Collin Makail heard the State’s preliminary application to dismiss the proceeding for damages.
The State objected the application made by Ben Lomai, the lawyer representing the refugees, and filed a section 5 notice of the Claims by and Against the State Act to dismiss the claim by the refugees.
The State basically argued that the applicants were out of time from April 26, 2016 when the Supreme Court made the decision and filed the notice to discontinue the proceeding.
Lomai argued that his clients filed the application on time and they were within the time frame of six months.
The applicants were seeking to enforce their rights to deprivation of liberty, denial of full protection of the law and also included orders for compensation and exemplary damages for breach of those rights under the Constitution.
The application was filed on Nov 7, 2016 and Lomai sought to have the summary judgment entered by the court against the respondents in favour of the applicants.