3 Nov 2011

Concern for PNG judiciary as constitutionality case looms

5:29 pm on 3 November 2011

An academic has described as worrying a reported move by Papua New Guinea's government to sack the chief justice, Sir Salamo Injia, and other judges.

The former Chief Justice and previous Attorney General, Sir Arnold Amet, claims discussions are being held by senior officials to make these changes.

He suspects the move is an attempt by the government of Peter O'Neill to affect the imminent ruling of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of events in parliament which took it to power in August.

A Melanesian expert at the Australia National University, Ron May, says over the last few months there's been a lot of political involvement in the judiciary in key decisions.

"There have been calls to replace certain lawyers and certain judges and allegations that some judges might be biased in one direction or another. But so far there hasn't been the sort of overt attack on the judiciary that this rumour seems to be suggesting."

Ron May