7 Feb 2013

PNG repeals act allowing judges being sacked

12:35 pm on 7 February 2013

Papua New Guinea's parliament has repealed controversial legislation giving government the power to sack judges.

In a flurry of legislative activity, the coalition government of Prime Minister Peter O'Neill this week revoked various laws passed during last year's political impasse.

Johnny Blades reports

"The Judicial Conduct Act of 2012 was touted by the then government of Peter O'Neill as an attempt to protect the integrity of the judiciary. But few observers saw it as anything other than an attempt to sideline the Chief Justice who had ruled against the constitutionality of the O'Neill government during its standoff with the former Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare. The Act met with outrage in PNG and condemnation from abroad. Now heading a coalition which includes Sir Michael, Peter O'Neill has moved swiftly to repeal this law as well as the Supreme Court Act amendments of 2012, and legislation which excluded people over the age of 74 from being Prime Minister."