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January 17, 2021
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Court Grants Namah’s Stand

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The Waigani Supreme Court today granted Opposition Leader Belden Namah’s request to recognize his standing in the case between himself and the government, over the constitutionality of the arrangements between the governments of Australia and PNG relating to asylum seekers.

The court also ordered the respondent, represented by Kuman lawyers, to pay all costs incurred from this case.

 

The case will now proceed to the next stage which is a substantive hearing.

 

After a lengthy reading of old cases related to this matter, Justice Bernard Sakora delivered his judgement to recognize Namah’s standing in the matter on the constitutionality of the arrangements between the PNG and Australian governments as to the transfer of persons seeking asylum in Australia, to PNG.            

 

His standing was granted on the grounds that he had sufficient interest in the matter, and the matter was also an important constitutional issue.

 

The respondents included Rimbink Pato, NEC, and the Independent State of PNG as the first, second and third defendants respectively. They objected to Namah’s standing in the case on the above grounds; however Namah filed an application seeking declaration on his standing and was granted.

 

The two-bench supreme court comprising Justice Bernard Sakora and Justice David Cannings ordered that the applicant request be granted, ordered that the applicant had standing to make application and that the respondents to pay the costs of the hearing of the request to the applicant on a party to party basis.

 

Mr Namah thanked Henao lawyers and said they were ready to take on the substantive matter.

 

He warned the government that he would challenge any government decision that went against the country’s constitution.

 

 

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