Contempt of Court


By Adelaide Kari – EM TV News, Port Moresby

It’s being two weeks since the boycott of classes by students and while it has been suggested that the students may be in contempt of court, if they pursue their course, one private lawyer who specialises in democratic governance and leadership thinks otherwise.

The University of Papua New Guinea Vice Chancellor, Albert Mellam, in a news statement said the UPNG Administration would be in contempt of court if they were to allow a referendum at UPNG.

While the Electoral Commission has not conducted a referendum because of the legal implications, the real question now, is if the students or organisation will be in contempt of court if they go ahead with the protest.

Nemo Yalo, said that even the Electoral Commission, by not conducting a referendum, is questioning the independence of the office.

The integrity of the office of the Prime Minister is also another issue.

The Prime Minister has maintained that he is duty bound to protect the office of the Prime minister so that such things do not happen in the future.

But, UPNG SRC have stressed that if he is still occupying the office and implicated in high profiled cases before the court he is already demeaning the office of the prime minister.

Mr Yalo agreed with the students.

Mr Yalo said that only if the students were to be given a court order instructing them not to hold a referendum or to not protest only then would they be in contempt of court.

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