Tuesday, 10 July 2007 7:20 AM

Protecting the Laws of Solomon Islands

The PM's claims that his government's controversial actions are nevertheless made according to our laws ring very hollow.

Even a passing acquaintance with our Immigration Act will show that the Minister of Immigration's declaration of a serving Police Commissioner as an undesirable immigrant was made outside his power, and may have been illegal and almost certainly unconstitutional. If Ministers rely on legal advice to the contrary then they have been very poorly, not to say disingenuously, advised.

And the appointment of the replacement Commissioner appears equally suspect on constitutional grounds. The requirement on the PM to consult the Police and Prisons Service Commission on the appointment cannot be satisfied by a mere relaying of the PM's choice. The Constitution itself makes clear that consultation requires a real chance to put one's views and have them properly considered.

If the PM wants his commitment to 'acting according to law' to be taken seriously then he will have to do much more than brazenly asserting that his government acts within the law. A sovereign and independent nation depends on the Rule of Law for its survival. The very things which the PM says he strives to protect are damaged when he or his advisers ignore, bend and parody the laws of Solomon Islands.

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

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