Long road to Australian policing in PNG

10:15 am on 16 September 2015

An academic at the Australian National University says there are a lot of issues to sort through before Australian police can take up front-line duties in Papua New Guinea.

Prior to 2005 Australian Federal Police had been deployed in an operational capacity but they were withdrawn after the PNG Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to grant them immunity.

Sinclair Dinnen, an associate professor with the ANU's Society & Governance in Melanesia Program, says this could prove a significant hindrance to having AFP officers take up frontline roles in PNG.

"That in turn sort of raises questions about, you know the legal situation in Papua New Guinea in particular under the constitution. So there are various issues that would have to be resolved prior to I think Australian policing in operational policing."

There are currently more than 70 unarmed Australian police officers deployed in PNG in advisory roles.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court.

The Papua New Guinea Supreme Court. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades