19 Jun 2006

Tonga's contested assembly opening ruled lawful

4:00 pm on 19 June 2006

Tonga's Chief Justice, Robin Webster, has ruled that the Opening of the Legislative Assembly on June the 1st by the Princess Regent, Salote Pilolevu Tuita, was lawful.

This follows a complaint that the opening was not performed in line with the Legislative Assembly Act which says it should be done by the King either in person or by a commission of three nobles appointed by him.

The three counsel for defence were united in their submission that when the Princess Regent was appointed by the King, who was in New Zealand, the Princess Regent had the power to administer Tonga.

In delivering his decision. the Chief Justice stated that it is of the most important duties of the Supreme Court is to uphold the Constitution of Tonga.