4 Jun 2014

Stay order in PNG Manus probe

5:39 pm on 4 June 2014

Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court has issued a stay order on an inquiry into the welfare of asylum seekers detained by Australia on Manus Island pending the determination of an appeal by the state.

The newspaper, The National, reports that Justice Colin Makail said this was necessary to enable the court to hear arguments from the parties involved in the substantive appeal.

On Tuesday, Justice Makail granted leave for the State to challenge Justice David Cannings' refusal to disqualify himself from his inquiry into the Australia-run detention centre after he was accused of bias by the state.

The case has been adjourned until June the 16th.

Justice Cannings initiated the constitutional inquiry in February after deadly clashes on Manus Island to determine if human rights of the asylum seekers had been abused.

But the inquiry has been beset with delays, including the revelation that the lawyer representing the asylum seekers, Frazier Pitpit, had no practicing certificate.