19 Jun 2006

Supreme Court in Tonga due to decide legality of parliamentary opening this week

8:34 am on 19 June 2006

Tonga's Chief Justice, Robin Webster, is expected to announce his decision this week over the legality of the opening of the 2006 parliamentary session by the Princess Regent.

The news site, Matangi On-line, says the Chief Justice heard submissions made to the Supreme Court in a session on Saturday morning in the case being brought by eight MPs.

Clive Edwards, acting for the Plaintiffs, insisted on his interpretation of Clause 17 of the Legislative Assembly Act, that, "The sessions of the Legislative Assembly shall be opened and closed 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.