The Country now has a new Ombudsman. Mr. Joe Porowai was selected and recommended for appointment as the Ombudsman on the advice of the Chairman of the Ombudsman Appointment Committee.Although the recommendation was made to the Governor General, Mr. Joe Porowai has not been appointed by the Governor-General in accordance with s.96(2) of the Constitution and as a result the matter was taken before the High court to seek redress by way of a declaration of right to the appointment.
The High Court therefore ruled that the refusal of the Governor-General to refrain from exercising his power to appoint Joe Porowai to the position of Ombudsman is unconstitutional.
Judge John Brown made the ruling that the applicant (Joe Porowai) is the person lawfully and constitutionally entitled to be appointed to the Office of Ombudsman by the Governor-General in accordance with the advice given by the Committee, dated 9 November 2006, fulfilling section S.96(2) of the Constitution.
Mr. Porowai's Lawyer, Andrew Nori, took the matter to court to seek rulings on whether the Governor-General has the discretionary power to refuse the appointment of the recommended candidate to which Judge John Brown answered "NO".
It is understood that the ruling is good news to many who wanted justice done and shows the impartially of the judiciary system. The office of the Ombudsman, since the non-renewal of John Smith Pitabelama, has not being filled for quite a while. Yesterday's ruling should clear all legal questions and thus Joe Porowai can now take up the position of Ombudsman.