23 Mar 2012

PNG Catholic church opposes passage of Judicial Conduct Bill

2:42 pm on 23 March 2012

The Catholic church has expressed disbelief and shock after Papua New Guinea's parliament passed the Judicial Conduct Bill 2012 into law.

The law, introduced on Tuesday and passed three times by a vote of 63-7 on Wednesday, effectively gives government the power to suspend a judge.

The general-secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of PNG and the Solomon Islands, Father Victor Roche, says churches opposed the bill in the strongest possible terms.

CathNews reports him as saying despite the government having the majority to rule, the decision further fails to serve the interest of every Papua New Guinean.

He says any country which suppressed the conduct of judges is in big trouble.

Fr Roche says there was not enough time for non-governmental organisations, churches and public to gauge their views through a public debate on the law before it was passed.