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November 27, 2021

Judge Koeget Cautions Lawyers to correctly interpret laws and advise their clients on their legal positions


By Theckla Gunga – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Acting Judge Salee Koeget has cautioned lawyers at the National Court to correctly interpret laws and advise their clients on their legal positions.

Justice Koeget made this comment after lawyers representing Solomon Tato and Julie Soso filed motions to consolidate two proceedings, one filed in Goroka, and the other at the Waigani National Court.  

His Honour said laws must be interpreted and applied according to the facts of the case, and lawyers must explain clearly to their clients, the legality of their cases.

Justice Koeget refused to hear the applications yesterday and corrected both lawyers, stating that there was no urgency in the application, and adjourned the case to February 15. 

His remarks follow an urgent application filed by Eastern Highlands Governor, Julie Soso’s lawyer, on the recent impasse in Goroka town on the grounds that there are two court orders in place, one issued by Goroka, and the other by the Waigani National Court.

This is in regard to the position of the Eastern Highlands Provincial Administrator.

Following allegations of misconduct by former administrator, Solomon Tato, Soso appointed Samson Akunai as the new administrator.  

On November 30, 2015, Soso and Tato obtained a court order for the matter to return to court on December 21, 2015 because of the political impasse in the province.

However, both parties failed to attend court on that date, and Judge Koeget said the order had lapsed.

Meanwhile, Judge Koeget blamed lawyers for causing the impasse, stating that because their lawyers wrongly advised clients, they do not understand the seriousness of the court decisions.   

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