Supreme Court

Vanuatu Supreme Court adjourns Stay Application hearing of former Prime Minister

The case would proceed via the AVL video conferencing platform to connect with Fiji.

Fijian lawyer, Filimoni Vosarogo, is representing Mr Salwai.

The former Member of Parliament (MP) Tomker Netvunei, sought an adjournment until July 2020.

The application is based on the current difficulties with international travel and in preparation ahead of the hearing, as Mr. Vosarogo had anticipated being able to return in time to prepare for the hearing, and accordingly, did not take with him the material he required.

Seven elections petitions registered with Vanuatu Supreme Court

The Chief Registrar said the petitions are the result of a conference held by the Supreme Court over the past week.

The conference is satisfied enough there is a case to be heard in each of the petitions.

There are three government ministers and the current Speaker of Parliament who will be defendants in the election petitions.

Monday was the last day to submit electoral petitions.


Vanuatu court to hear Natuman's final bid to contest election

The electoral office had rejected Joe Natuman's application, because he's still serving a suspended sentence that saw him lose his seat in Parliament in 2018.

Joe Natuman's two year suspended sentence lapses on 16 March - three days before the election.

Under the law, Natuman would be allowed to contest the election after this sentence lapses.

But the electoral commission rejected his application on the grounds that he was still serving his sentences when the deadline lapsed.

Vanuatu's Supreme Court overturns Speaker's decision

The Speaker, Seoule Simeon, ruled that Gracia Shadrack, the MP for Malekula, should lose his seat for missing three consecutive sittings.

Mr Shadrack was alleged to have not advised the clerk of Parliament about his absences.

But he claimed he had submitted his medical certificate on time to show that he could not attend Parliament because he was sick.

The Opposition MP challenged the Speaker's decision in the Supreme Court.

Vanuatu's Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek has made a ruling, allowing Mr Shadrack to resume his duties in Parliament.


Vanuatu Supreme Court reserves ruling on amendment

Obed Moses Tallis made a request for a legal opinion over uncertainty around the position of Parliamentary Secretary.

The President's legal counsel Gary Blake said they were not challenging the amendment but the validity of the process for the creation of the position.

Mr Blake made the clarification after both counsels were reminded by the Chief Justice to stick to the facts surrounding the case.

ni-Vanuatu woman to be appointed to Supreme Court

The Daily Post reported the Judicial Service Commission has recommended Mrs Trief to be appointed as a Supreme Court Judge.

She was among 10 local and international applicants contesting the position.

Mrs Trief was Solicitor General for seven years and is also the Program Co-ordinator for a joint Vanuatu and Australian policing and justice programme.

She also served as the Secretary of the Law Council.

Mrs Trief's appointment is expected to be made official shortly with her duties scheduled to as a judge by the end of July.


Vanuatu child murderer jailed for life

A packed court room in Port Vila erupted in joy when Bob Robert was sentenced by Justice Gustaaf Andree Wiltins.

The Daily Post newspaper reported the rapist and murderer was on parole when he committed the offence.

The court heard that under the influence of alcohol and kava, Robert unsuccessfully tried to enter two houses on the day of the murder in 2018.

He took the victim from a third house and abused then murdered the child in a secluded area about three kilometres from her home.

The body was discovered the next morning by family members.


Vanuatu's top judge wants progress on court buildings

He said plans for a new Hall of Justice for Vanuatu have been in front of the government for years.

Vanuatu Digest reports all the Government has done since the arson is to provide the inappropriate Dumbea Centre as a temporary court and to set up a committee that has achieved nothing.

Chief Justice Lunabek, speaking at the opening of the 2017 judicial year, said a new Hall of Justice was long overdue.

Kondra’s appeal on fast track list

The case returned for directions on Thursday afternoon before Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia.

He directed parties in the case to return to court on Monday, July 18, and settle index books in the appeal before a hearing date is allocated for the appeal to be heard.  

Leave was granted by a three-judge Supreme Court bench on June 21 to hear the appeal. A stay was also granted on that day against the decision of the National Court on March 1, dismissing his judicial review.

​Ombudsman Commission’s appeal dismissed

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia dismissed the appeal on Thursday. However, he said the Ombudsman Commission is at liberty to file a Supreme Court review of the National Court’s decision of Jan 28, 2015.

He said if a review is filed by the Ombudsman, it will be determined on its merits.

The Ombudsman’s appeal was dismissed after the court was told that the documents for the appeal could not be located in the registry, despite a Supreme Court reference number or court file number being given for the case on March 6, 2015.