Judge rejects students’ case

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

THE Waigani National Court has dismissed the University of Papua New Guinea students’ case against the institution’s administration for the signing of an agreement reaffirmation form.
Justice David Cannings said the form was an effort by the university administration to encourage students to refrain from illegal activities that would affect the academic year.
“In my assessment, the form does not infringe any constitutional rights,” he said.
The students’ lawyer Laken Aigilo argued that the form sought to restrict their constitutional rights of protesting and conducting forums.
He argued that there was a court order issued to the administration on June 8 to restrict the powers of the Student Representative Council of which it had complied with. Therefore the form was unnecessary.
The university administration’s lawyer Darryl Kamen explained that the form was only for administrative purposes to record how many students were willing to return to classes.
He said most students at the Taurama campus (Medical Faculty) had already signed the form and returned to classes.
Kamen said the actions of Aigilo’s clients were infringing on the rights of other students who were willing to return to classes.
Cannings said the form was not in conflict with Sections 45, 46, and 47 of the Constitution.
“The form is incapable of removing human rights from students,” he said.
He ordered that the case be dismissed and all parties to pay their own legal costs.