The Papua New Guinea supreme court has ruled that the cabinet was out of order in re-instituting a state of emergency in the troubled Southern Highlands province.
The national government had brought in a state of emergency in August last year but its attempts last week to have parliament extend it failed and cabinet made a declaration instead.
The man ousted as governor under the emergency, Hami Yawari, asked for a judicial review of this decision and the courts have ruled in his favour.
Our correspondent says this means that technically Mr Yawari, who in September was facing misappropriation charges of which he has since been cleared, is now back in charge of the province.
He says it is not clear if the government will take any further action, but it cannot immediately turn to parliament because that has been adjourned under mid April.