Mamu files reference questioning human rights provisions


PUBLIC solicitor Leslie Mamu has filed a Supreme Court reference raising constitutional questions on the interpretation and application of human rights provisions and the Claims by and against State Act.
The Act is a law that allows people and companies to seek damages against the State in court proceedings.
The reference raises constitutional questions relating to the interpretation and application of Section 57 of the Constitution, the human rights regime in Papua New Guinea and in relation to Section 37 (3) interpretation of phrase, what is reasonable time, in respect of when a trial commences to decision.
The other aspects of the reference are questions regarding the constitutionality of certain provisions the Act and as well as the constitutionality of the entire Act itself.
Justice Collin Makail yesterday granted on application by Solicitor-General Tauvasa Tauvasa that sought for Attorney-General (A-G) Dr Eric Kwa to intervene in the proceedings.
As it was stated in Tauvasa’s affidavit in support, it was necessary for the A-G to be in the proceedings since he was the principle legal adviser to the National Executive Council and the State has direct interest in the matter before the court.
The State also has direct interest in that the reference questions and challenges the validity, legality and constitutionality of the Act, and in that it and/or its servants, agents or officers have the responsibility of enforcing and administering the law the subject of this reference.
It is understood that the reference stemmed from a series of facts in a National Court case in 2012 in which five accused were put to trial for kidnapping for ransom and rape.