- Attorney General warns of immature politicians and powerful multi-national corporations colluding to interfere in the third arm of government.
- All ingredients for a maturing dictatorship are already present in PNG
By BENNY SANDEKA
JUDGES of the National and Supreme Courts in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been told in no uncertain terms this week that the independence of the third arm of government is being question in the public arena and fears the last bastion of the country's democracy may become a joke within the next 30 years.
Attorney General, Dr. Allan Marat told a ceremonial court sitting in Port Moresby this week that "there are very serious issues being raised in court cases, the media and homes" about the independence of the judges relating to "conflict of interest" issues.
The Attorney General said: "Instances of conflict of interest and independence of judges are numerous. Some have been reported in judgments, some have been addressed administratively within the judiciary itself and some are tormenting the conscience of some judges."
"There are signs of maturing dictatorship in PNG and PNG has all the ingredients of corporatocracy, namely major corporations, international banks and colluding governments.
"The influx of mercenaries occur as a matter of course. Manipulation by outside political and commercial interests is increasing and mercenaries have been brought into PNG under the guise of consultants."
The Attorney General said, these developments are hair-raising and called on the courts to be wary of these developments and begin to design appropriate judicial attitudes to address them when they are presented in the court of law.
"There is a trend developing in PNG and the courts must be cognizant of it. More and more young, greedy and immature so-called leaders through their association with foreign economic hit men are becoming greedy and have sold this country to multi-million corporations," the Justice Minister said.
"There is now so much foreign interest at stake in this country. And unless the law enforcers, including the courts wake up to this development....our judiciary is going to be a joke to this corporatocracy in the next 30 to 50 years."
Dr Marat says, closely related to the issue of independence of the judiciary is the undue delays in the delivery of judgments in cases.
"When these young, greedy and immature so-called leaders are referred to the courts for obvious failures to observe the rule of law, their cases come before the courts and then, what happens?"
The Attorney General said judgments are delayed as dates are stretched out for far too long and these immature, greedy so-called leaders continue to govern a people who are crying for justice.
Dr. Marat said, a judge who delays a ruling, is responsible to some extent for additional problems emanating from delayed judgments. He says, such behviour will only entrench corporatocracy in PNG and erode the respect people have for the courts in this country.
"In these circumstance, your honours must take effective measures to defend the mineral, energy and other resources of PNG by handing down judgments as quickly as possible.
"Your decisions whether to reserve judgment for a long period of time or not must be inspired soley by the need to protect national interests and in the unrestricted defense of PNG's sovereign rights," Dr. Marat said.