5 Mar 2018

Nauru minister says new appeal court will bring benefits

11:44 am on 5 March 2018

The Nauru Justice Minister, David Adeang has said a Court of Appeal in Nauru would bring huge benefits for the country's people.

The Nauru government has introduced a bill to drop the Australian High Court as the last court of appeal for Nauruans.

Mr Adeang said it would cut costs and give easier access to justice, but some on the island said it would make it harder.

He said the current costs of appeals to the High Court of Australia are prohibitive and discouraged some litigants.

The minister said Nauru's move is similar to decisions by both Australia and New Zealand to abolish appeals to the UK Privy Council.

Mr Adeang said it reflects Nauru's self-confidence as a nation state and reinforces its sovereignty.

But a former minister of justice that has been involved in a drawn out legal process over an anti-government protest, Matthew Batsiua, said the move is suspicious.

He said the 19 people charged over the protest had plans to appeal to the High Court of Australia and he believed this was an attempt to shut down that option.

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