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Arrest of Papua New Guinea Chief Justice disturbing

Press Release – New Zealand Law Society

The arrest of the Chief Justice of Papua New Guinea on charges of sedition is a disturbing development for anyone who believes that an independent judiciary is a requirement for any democracy, the New Zealand Law Society said today.31 May 2012

Arrest of Papua New Guinea Chief Justice disturbing development

The arrest of the Chief Justice of Papua New Guinea on charges of sedition is a disturbing development for anyone who believes that an independent judiciary is a requirement for any democracy, the New Zealand Law Society said today.

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia was arrested six days ago by a group of police and soldiers who stormed the Supreme Court and subsequently charged Sir Salamo with sedition before he was released on bail.

The arrest followed the Supreme Court’s decision that Sir Michael Somare should be reinstated as Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

“It is fundamental that courts are able to make decisions and to operate with total independence from pressure by anyone, including the government,” the President of the Law Society, Jonathan Temm, said today.

Mr Temm said the Law Society joined with LAWASIA, the Australian Bar Association and a number of lawyers’ organisations in expressing its alarm at the events in Papua New Guinea.

“The institutions and freedoms we enjoy and take for granted in New Zealand are precious and it is vital that we express our support for the rule of law in other jurisdictions when it is threatened,” he said.

ENDS

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