Thursday, 13 December 2007 11:10 AM

Government Instructs Attorney-General to Appeal High Court's Ruling

The Government of Solomon Islands has instructed the nation's Attorney General, Julian Moti, to appeal High Court's ruling yesterday.

In a statement, Mr. Moti said the Cabinet has now read the decision, and having studied its unstated assumptions and wider implications, has instructed the Attorney General's Chambers to appeal the judgment to the Court of Appeal.

He stated that a judgement that states the government had a "valid and exceedingly well argued case" and decided to avoid answering the questions, which the Court was asked to determine, must be appealed.

Mr. Moti said the Government was obviously quite disappointed that the High Court has declined to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution, particularly after it had already decided that the questions were justifiable last Friday.

"What is most disappointing about the judgment from Cabinet's point of view is that the learned Judge's reasoning does not cite a single judgment despite the copious authorities which buttressed our submissions," Mr. Moti said.

"At least the learned Judge has recognised the validity of our submissions concerning the inconsistency between Order 7 (3) of the Standing Orders and Section 31 (1) of the Constitution. He has been very complimentary of the efforts and industry of my Chambers and should take no exception to the Government's decision to appeal his judgment."

Mr. Moti said it was regrettable that expediency has prevailed over principle.

"The questions that we wanted answered and the problems they cause will not get solved by being brushed under the carpet," he added.

Mr. Moti stated that the Government went to the High Court to get answers to those constitutional questions.

He said the wave of the judicial wand yesterday has not made them disappear.

"The Court of Appeal needs to tell us whether the High Court did the right thing, in law, to shut us out of the Court."

"That is why the Government has instructed us to appeal Justice Goldsbrough's decision to restore the supremacy of our Constitution," Mr. Moti said.

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