Morobe to challenge law in court


THE Morobe provincial government plans to refer the controversial Judicial Conduct Act to the Supreme Court. The provincial executive committee will meet today to consider a submission on the referral. The bill was rushed through parliament in a space of 24 hours and passed in a 63-7 vote.

Morobe Governor Luther Wenge said the three arms of government - judiciary, executive and legislature - were equal. Wenge said each of the three had obligations and limited powers under the Constitution. He said those employed in these three arms were subject to the Constitution. Should any breach the law, the constitution had provided the Ombudsman Commission to deal with them.

“What parliament has done is make itself superior under this bill and having received allegations against a judge, has given itself power to refer the matter to the governor-general to deal with the judge concerned,” he said.

The governor-general will then request for a tribunal to look into the matter.

“This is contrary to the Constitution and the danger is that judges who sit on these tribunals will not perform their duties proficiently, especially if dealing with MPs,” he said.

“Judges will be conscious that they could be referred if the MP is unhappy with their decision and that is why this law is dangerous.”

The Morobe provincial government had made successful Supreme Court references in several cases including those relating to VAT, ECP, Organic Law regarding LLG presidents and the election of the governor-general.