Tuesday, 6 May 2008 9:51 PM

Act against the Rule of Law

I refer to recent comments by the Leader of the Opposition that the government had acted against the rule of law in the deportation of Moti. Now, I am not a lawyer but as I understand, in common law jurisdictions such as Solomon Islands, in the hierarchy of courts, decisions made by the superior court such as the High Court is binding on subordinate courts such as the Magistrate Court . All trained lawyers understand this basic principle which I understand is taught to aspiring lawyers at the beginning of their legal education. You cannot take an injunction in a Magistrate Court (Subordinate court), as done for Moti, against a decision handed down by the Solomon Island High Court (Superior court). That is a Kindergarden error.

If you read the Moti v Attorney General [2007] HCSI 481; Moti's application for leave under s.18(1) of the Constitution to prevent the Attorney General from deporting him was refused by the High Court. According to the Court, "The decision whether or not to grant the extradition request or to have him deported lies with the new government of the day". The 'new government' is a reference to the Sikua government. That is a decision made by the Higher Court in Solomon Islands' court hierarchy and to file an injunction against the decision in a lower court (Magistrate Court) is frivolous, for lack of better term. In fact the Sikua government did not interfere in the Moti deportation because there was no legal basis for the injunction obtained from the Magistrate's Court. The legal option available to him was to file an appeal in the Court of Appeal but he failed to do so and therefore he was rightfully returned to his homeland to face justice.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Namoka in Auki and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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