Supreme Court

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.

7-year court battle of Napa Napa land ends

A three-man Supreme Court bench upheld the National Court decision after a long court battle of seven years.   

Clan representative, Daure Gabe Pundi, said they had been in court since 2009 and the decision of the Supreme Court dismissing the appeal of the National Court’s decision was a relief.

“We wasted a lot of money, a lot of time but we knew it was our land so sacrificed everything and came to court.  We are happy now,” said Pundi. 

Appeal Court quashes decision of Supreme Court

The Monday parliament session was scheduled to debate 12 government bills.

On Monday, Parliament was already in session, and the President had delivered his speech when the Speaker was served with the Supreme Court interlocutory injunction to stop the session until full hearing and further court orders are made.

The (then) success application was filed by the Leader of Opposition and former Attorney General and 13 other members of the opposition.

Conspiracy case against Natuman and Maralau goes to Supreme Court

Chief Magistrate Felix Steven, announced his decision yesterday afternoon.

He ruled that the duo did have a case to answer and committed their case to the Supreme Court.