The lawyer representing PNG’s Chief Migration Officer told the Supreme Court this morning that PNG is in charge of the Manus Detention Centre, and in turn the resettlement of transferees from the centre.
Laias Kandi told Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, that the Australian government will only assist with financial and technical support.
This comes following an earlier directive from the Supreme Court on April 26, which ordered for a joint effort between Australia and PNG to resettle refugees currently on Manus Island.
This was also the date of which the Supreme Court declared the operations on Manus too be unconstitutional, and ordered the centre’s closure.
Up until today transferees are still being processed and kept on Manus.
The Supreme Court’s was charged with determining whether or not Australia or PNG would be in charge of the resettlement of the asylum seekers. Or, if it would be both parties.
Today, it was made known to the Chief Justice that the PNG Immigration and the Citizenship Service Authority are responsible for, and will manage the asylum seeker status determination and overall refugee settlement process.
This was a concern for the Chief Justice, who directed the parties to clarify to a full court of three judges the earlier order which was handed down on April 26.
The order stated that both the Australian and PNG governments should take all necessary steps to cease and prevent the continued unconstitutional and illegal detention of asylum seekers on Manus.