9 Feb 2018

Former Nauru magistrate against appeal court move

3:56 pm on 9 February 2018

A former resident magistrate in Nauru says the judiciary is too compromised for the country to end appeals to Australia's High Court.

National flag of Nauru.

National flag of Nauru. Photo: luzitanija/123RF

Peter Law was speaking as the government prepares to set up the Nauru Court of Appeal and end use of the Australian High Court as the final court of appeal.

President Baron Waqa told parliament that, as the country marks its 50th anniversary of independence, the new court would serve as "affirmation of Nauru's sovereignty, independence and maturity as a nation".

Mr Law, who was deported when he got offside with the government, says having a local court of appeal sounds fine on paper, but the reality is the Nauru judiciary has been compromised for years.

"It just doesn't relate to 2014 when the actions against me were taken and subsequent orders by the Supreme Court were ignored, when there were bans on my deportation issued by the Supreme Court.

"The fact of the matter it that it has been compromised and it is disappointing that they would now try and set up something as an alternative to what little judicial accountability there is."