Monday, 10 December 2007 4:20 PM

Solomons' High Court Continues Hearing of Govt. Case

Solomon Islands' High Court continued its hearing today of the government's case filed to stop parliament from meeting on December 13.

Lawyers representing the government, in an attempt to strike out the Governor General's call for the National Parliament to meet on December 13, argued that allowing the proclamation will undermine the national constitution of Solomon Islands.

The Attorney General, Julian Moti, and the Solicitor General, Reginald Teutao, argued that the Governor General has failed to consult the Prime Minister before calling for the National Parliament to meet.

The lawyers said the Court must not allow the proclamation because it is an error to the law and also declared to be void.

"It is unconstitutional and irrational for the Governor General to call on the National Parliament to meet," said the Plaintiff.

Mr. Moti said that the Government delayed the date to allow the Minister of Finance to properly settle the 2008 budget before announcing it in the National Parliament.

"The Minister of Finance is the only person allowed under law to pronounce the budget for next year," he added.

Having said that, Mr. Moti also said that the budget is monetary in nature and the opposition does not have any right to force Cabinet, or the Governor General, to decide on a date and time for Parliament to meet.

The Governor General's representative, Ken Averre, said that the Constitutional Provisions does not provide for the Governor General to act under the authority of the Cabinet, Prime Minister or any Minister for that matter.

Mr. Averre argued that the Governor General has the power vested on him to make the call.