Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > Morobe Province to fight Judicial Conduct law in court

Morobe Province to fight Judicial Conduct law in court

Frank Rai

The Morobe Provincial Government yesterday declared that it will once again fight the controversial Judicial Conduct Bill 2012 in the Supreme Court claiming that the bill in itself is unconstitutional.

And at the same time it called on the Opposition to lodge a complaint with the General Secretary of the Commonwealth of Nations to suspend the membership of the Government of Papua New Guinea.

Governor Luther Wenge yesterday announced that he would seek endorsement from the Morobe provincial executive council (PEC) today and file court proceedings against the bill which he claimed had subordinate the third arm of government.

The firebrand governor on national issues took the stand claiming that the Constitution of PNG had established Three Arms of Government included the Executive, Legislator and Judiciary and none of the three were superior or inferior to the other.

“The constitution establishes the obligation and the extend of its obligation of the three arms of government. It also gives power and the extend of the power to all the three arms of government. The legislator which is one of the three arms of government cannot pass the law to subordinate the other,” Governor Wenge stressed.

He further added that the Legislator would not give itself power to receive evidence of misconduct and ask the Governor General to appoint a Leadership Tribunal to deal with members of the Judiciary.

The governor who was also an acting Judge said according to the Organic Laws on Leadership Tribunal and the Constitution, the Ombudsmen Commission had the authority to deal with Judges, MPs and the bureaucrats.

Governor Wenge said the Organic Law and Constitution of PNG have not yet changed and such legislation to subordinate a constitutional arm of the government would not go unchallenged.

He further stressed that the Judicial Conduct Bill was in itself an inferior law and therefore was subject to the Organic Law and the PNG Constitution.

“As long as the Bill is contrary to the Constitution, it is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court or sometimes we call the Constitutional Court is to declare that the Bill is unconstitutional,” Governor Wenge said.

Upon basing the grounds on the Morobe provincial government’s intention to seek the Supreme Court Reference, Governor Wenge called on the National Government to repel the bill to save the country and save legal costs. Meanwhile, the Morobe Governor also urged the Opposition to lodge a complaint with the Commonwealth of Nations so that PNG government’s membership would be suspended.

Mr Wenge said the Opposition would place a record on the Commonwealth of what the PNG government had done to the Commonwealth System of Government.

“This act has challenged the government system of the Commonwealth Nations and I call that PNG’s membership to the Commonwealth should be suspended. It is like the Fiji military coup where the Fiji government was suspended and it should happen to PNG,” the former acting judge said.

Governor Wenge also announced that he supported the University students and the Unions with other likeminded PNG citizens to fight the controversial bill, tooth and nail.

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