16 Aug 2013

PNG Opposition's challenge to asylum camp fast tracked by court

1:47 pm on 16 August 2013

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has ruled in favour of fast-tracking a constitutional challenge by the opposition against the government's asylum seeker deal with Australia.

The opposition's first case against the Manus Island asylum seeker processing centre was thrown out of court on a technicality.

Since then, the government agreed to an extended refugee resettlement arrangement with Australia.

PNG's opposition has relaunched a fresh challenge, saying the deal breaches the constitution through provisions such as detaining people against their will.

The deputy opposition leader Sam Basil says PNG's constitution needs to be protected.

"The Prime Minister's office, in response, suggested that they will amend the constitution in parliament to make sure that the asylum seekers treaty doesn't break any PNG laws. That has upset the opposition and a lot of Papua New Guineans that the government of PNG is going to go back and fix the laws that they have broken by executing the asylum seekers deal."

Sam Basil