Court blocks UPNG eviction

9:36 am on 27 May 2016

The National Court in Papua New Guinea has temporarily blocked the University of PNG from evicting protesting students from its campuses and suspending the first semester.

Students at the University of Papua New Guinea have been boycotting classes in protest at the Prime Minister refusing to stand down.

Students at the University of Papua New Guinea have been boycotting classes in protest at the Prime Minister refusing to stand down. Photo: Supplied / UPNG4PNG

PNG Loop reports the ruling was made following a legal challenge filed by the University's Student Representative Council on Thursday morning.

The challenge sought a stay of the University Council decision made on May the 24th which suspended semester one and ordered students to vacate the campus within 48 hours.

The 48-hour deadline arrived at 3pm on Thursday, 45 minutes before the court issued its ruling.

Justice Collin Makail granted the temporary stay until Wednesday June the 1st when parties will return to court.

The University Council's decision followed a month-long class boycott by students who are demanding that the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, step down to face corruption allegations.

One of the student leaders, Gerald Tulu Manu-Peni, told RNZI the court's decision would enable the students' action to continue.

"Court ruled that the 48 hour eviction notice issued by the university including indefinite suspension of semester one be stayed. The decision of the University Council on Tuesday is stayed by the court. That is a plus for us the students. It's given us hope, it's given us strength to pursue our agenda. In the meantime, many of the students, we're still residing on the campus."

Mr Manu-Peni said the students were distributing copies of the court's ruling to administrators on both of the University's two Port Moresby campuses.