The National, Thursday 22nd March 2012
THE Catholic church expressed “disbelief and shock” after parliament yesterday passed the Judicial Conduct Bill 2012 into law.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands general-secretary Fr Victor Roche said churches “opposed the bill in the strongest possible terms”.
He said the government had not taken the right direction in its decision to pass the new law.
Roche said despite the government having the majority to rule, “the decision further fails to serve the interest of every Papua New Guinean”.
He said the National and Supreme Courts were the highest lawmaking body and it was not good to suppress them.
Any country that “suppresses the conduct of judges of the National and Supreme Courts is in big trouble”.
Roche said there was not enough time for non-governmental organisations, churches and public to gauge their views through a public debate on the law before it was passed.
He said they were pleased with opposition leader Dame Carol Kidu for opposing the bill.
Former chief justice Sir Arnold Amet branded the law as “dangerous and contrary to the independence of the judiciary”.
He said there were universal conventional laws built into the code of ethics for the judiciary and there was no need for any other law.