30 May 2013

Revived PNG death penalty open to constitutional challenge

6:43 pm on 30 May 2013

A former Papua New Guinea Chief Justice says there could be constitutional challenges to a law change reactivating the death penalty.

The new law allows for five types of execution - hanging, lethal injection, deprivation of oxygen, firing squad and electrocution - with the method in each case to be determined by the National Executive Council.

Sir Arnold Amet says to give cabinet this power is likely to be seen as a usurpation of judicial authority.

"To then leave that particular method to the executive I expect will be challenged. It runs foul of constitutional demarcation of the powers to execute good judgments. It's just extraordinary. I don't know where the recommendation came from that you leave it to the executive of the day. You're liable to have numerous complications."

Sir Arnold Amet