Supreme Court awakens

A SHOWDOWN between the courts and the O’Neill-Namah coalition government is underway after the Supreme Court fought off a second attempt by the National Executive Council to remove Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia.
Supreme Court awakens Supreme Court awakens Supreme Court awakens Supreme Court awakens Supreme Court awakens

According to The National this morning, Injia was unavailable for comment, "but he is said to be preparing to say a whole lot at the start of the legal year service on Monday".

Yesterday Prime Minister Peter O'Neill announced the second NEC decision to suspend Injia, based on similar claims to its failed first attempt in November, which included allegations the judge mismanaged court finances.

The NEC move to suspend Injia before the court ruled on the constitutional crisis not only failed but resulted in contempt charges for Deputy Prime Minister Belden Namah and Attorney-General Dr Allan Marat.

The Supreme Court also muzzled the second NEC decision to suspend Injia this week.

The following orders were reported:

"Pending formal charges of contempt being laid by the Registrar of the Supreme Court against Peter O'Neill and chairman of National Executive Council and members of NEC and lawyers Michael Wilson and Tiffany Twivey, any decisions made by the NEC regarding the suspension of Sir Salamo, as chief justice, are hereby stayed until further orders."

The holiday is over

On December 12, the Supreme Court finally found Sir Michael Somare was the legitimate PM in 3-2 decision.

Given the months of work behind the Supreme Court Reference on matters relating to how Somare lost the top job in August while on medical leave, the O'Neill-Namah coalition was prepared for an unfavourable outcome.

O'Neill remains the effective PM and his government passed various bills in parliament after the court decision to maintain its power.

These included retrospective laws - which are never well-regarded under the common law system.

Earlier yesterday, the Supreme Court reportedly issued a separate order to have all parties involved with proceedings relating to the Supreme Court Reference to appear before it at 9.30am this morning.

"It is expected all provincial judges will come into Port Moresby for this service because of the gravity of the situation at hand," The National reported.

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