Number of judicial reviews jumps over 1000 mark


The number for judicial review cases has increased significantly to over 1000 since 2005, says Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia.
Sir Salamo revealed this during the third National Underlying Law Conference in Port Moresby last week.
“Today, there are up to three judges assigned to this in Waigani and judges from other provinces have their own judicial review (JR) case lists.
“The total JR case load from 2005 to date is 1562 cases of which 866 (55 per cent) have been completed and 696 cases (45 per cent) remain pending,” Injia said.
He said thatg on average 160-170 cases were filed per year and by the end of 2017 the number would increase to 200 171 at present.
He said the increased workload signified a rise in challenges administrative decisions for all manner of reasons. He said the trend would continue in future.
“Of the cases filed since 2005, the available data shows that no administrative decision-maker has been spared the watchful eyes of challengers including some very unlikely figure heads like the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice and the Head of State.
“Going by the names of the parties that appear as applicants or respondents, the numbers of cases registered against some of the parties are:

  • Constitutional and statutory commissions (and commissioners), committees, 363;
  • Statutory councils, 255;
  • Statutory boards (and chairmen), 248;
  • Ministers of state, 239;
  • Secretaries of departments, 92;
  • Tribunals, 29
  • Provincial administrators, 26;
  • CEOs of statutory bodies, 22; and
  • The NEC, 15.

He said judicial reviews have become popular and well received by applicants. The third conference on the development of the underlying law was organised by the judiciary and the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission (CLRC).
The aim of the conference is to discuss the judicial development of administrative law since independence.
The conference will also give opportunities for judges and other members of the legal sector to identify areas for review and reform.