Supreme Court

Case against Vanuatu top official to be reheard

In its final decision, the Appeal Court said Bibi's appeal is allowed and the judgment of the Supreme Court is set aside.

The Supreme Court judgment had dismissed his claim for unjustified termination of his employment.

Bibi then lodged an appeal against the judgment.

On Christmas Eve 2020, he was suspended on full pay after a cleaner at the commission claimed she saw Bibi and a manager engaged in what was described as unacceptable behaviour.


Vanuatu Supreme Court fines Minister of Justice and Community Services

Judge Oliver Saksak also ordered the Minister to pay another US$88 for breaching the Road Traffic (Control) Act.

He has also been given 100 hours of community work.

The court had heard Saimon refused to stop for police when driving his ministerial car in December 2020.

He pleaded guilty to the offence in October.

Justice Saksak said Saimon had also been a church elder at the time of the offence but resigned when the charges were brought against him.


Vanuatu convicts four Bangladeshis for trafficking and slavery

The four men have been found guilty of a range of charges including trafficking, slavery, money laundering and assault.

A 485-page verdict details how 102 Bangladeshis were deceived into going to Vanuatu for work several years ago as well as the abusive treatment they received in inadequate living conditions.

Two of the convicted men were proprietors of the Mr Price home and furniture store in Port Vila.

The victims worked long hours with little breaks, often under threat of punishment - lured to Vanuatu by the four men and their agents in Bangladesh.

Vanuatu minister fined for being drunken nuisance on plane

Bruno Leingkon boarded a chartered aircraft last year from Pekoa airport on Santo to Bauerfield Airport on Efate while drunk.

Shortly after take-off, the female pilot was forced to turn back to Pekoa off because of the Minister's bad behaviour.

Civil Aviation in Port Vila instructed her to return to Santo for the safety of those onboard.

Our correspondent said it was reported that Leingkon opened a can of beer during the flight, knowing that it was prohibited to consume alcohol inside the aircraft.

It was also reported that the MP harassed the female pilot.

Court hearing for Vanuatu MPs

Under Vanuatu's electoral laws members of parliament are allowed to challenge vacation declaration in the Supreme Court.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the first conference to hear the petitions of the 19 MPs started on Thursday morning at the Supreme Court Registry.

The government MPs concerned have been able to access this facility thanks to a split decision by the Vanuatu Court of Appeal which granted them the right to challenge their seats being declared vacant but stopped short saying the former speaker had erred in declaring them vacant.

Judge stays Vanuatu Speaker's move

On Tuesday the Speaker of Parliament, Gracia Shadrack, declared the seats of the Prime Minister Bob Loughman and 18 of his MPs vacant because they had been absent from parliament on three consecutive occasions.

The MPs were absent on the third occasion to avoid a vote of no confidence motion, but they had also been striving through the past week to remove Mr Shadrack, after he appeared to side with the oppostion.

Vanuatu government’s constitutional application against Speaker dismissed

Judge Viran Molisa Trief said the Speaker, who is the defendant, was correct in his ruling on 1st of June.

 “The urgent constitutional application is declined and dismissed,” said Judge Molisa Trief in her final judgement.

Vanuatu government takes spat with speaker to court

Prime Minister Bob Loughman and his government walked out of parliament on Tuesday after Gracia Shadrak refused to let them debate a motion to remove him.

Mr Shadrak has fallen out with the government after agreeing to a motion to hear a vote of no confidence in Mr Loughman.

That is due to be heard next Monday, but the speaker's actions prompted his colleagues to try and remove him, and Mr Shadrak said that motion will also be heard next Monday.

A revised legal view on Samoa's political stalemate

Mr Asafo has since had a re-think on that piece and has now submitted a different view.

I now offer a newly revised legal view on the issue regarding the constitutionality of the activation of Article 44(1A) of the Constitution and the resulting warrant issued by the Head of State to appoint one more woman to parliament.

This view reaches a different conclusion to my first initial view published earlier in the week on Thursday 22 April 2021.

Supreme Court declares Google's code copying fair

Oracle, another tech titan, had sued Google in 2010 for copyright infringement over what it said was copied computer code.

Android is now used in an estimated 70% of global smartphones, and damages could have run into the billions.

But the Supreme Court let Google off the hook, overturning a lower court's decision it had infringed copyright.

The court ruled six to two in favour of Google.

At issue was whether Google's use of Oracle's Java API - a widely-used "building block" for programmers - counted as "fair use" under US copyright law.