Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sir Arnold questions constitutionality of judicial bill passage

The National, Thursday 22nd March 2012
MADANG MP Sir Arnold Amet says the move by the Peter O’Neill-led administration to pass amendments to the Judicial Conduct Bill 2012 is unscrupulous and insubordinate to the Constitution.
Sir Arnold, from the National Alliance Party, expressed disappointment he had been refused to deliberate on the issue on the floor of parliament when the bill was passed into law.
The bill, introduced on Tuesday and passed three times yesterday by a vote of 63-7, gives parliament the power to refer a judge to the governor-general, who in turn must appoint a leadership tribunal to investigate the judge, who would be suspended from duty.
Sir Arnold described it “as a very dangerous pre­cedent that has very serious ramifications on the independence of the judiciary, the rule of law and constitutional democracy and the traditional separation of powers between the three principal arms of government; the legislature, executive and the judiciary”.
“It’s an abuse – it is corrupt.
“This has been coming after five months of continual efforts by the government to suspend the Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, to intimidate, compromise, and control the conduct of members of the judiciary,” he said.
He said there were ample provisions already in the Constitution, including consequential procedures, to deal appropriately with Sir Salamo.
He said a legal team “will soon file appropriate proceedings to challenge the constitutionality of the act in court”.

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