Rules surrounding PNG Leadership Tribunals are eased

11:14 am on 12 January 2018

Papua New Guinea Leadership Tribunals will no longer have to follow strict rules of evidence when determining the truth of allegations against elected representatives and department heads.

The Supreme Court in Papua New Guinea.

The Supreme Court in Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI/Johnny Blades

A Supreme Court decision on this matter follows a reference filed by PNG's Ombudsman Commission almost a year ago.

The reference sought interpretations on the constitutionality of 2006 amendments to the country's Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership.

The Commission said it welcomed the ruling of a five judge-bench that strict rules on evidence were unconstitutional.

It also welcomed the Court's interpretation on the question of when suspension of a leader should take place when they are referred to the Tribunal.

The Ombudsman Commission took the view that suspension should take effect when the Commission refers the leader to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.

However, the bench ruled that suspension takes effect when the Prosecutor presents the allegations to the Tribunal.