WALE CALLS FOR POSTPONEMENT OF LOCK-DOWN

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Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale calls on the Prime Minister to order the postponement of the proposed lock- down commencing Sunday 29th August saying, the public notice forewarning the public that persons acting in breach will be arrested, prosecuted and fined may be unconstitutional.

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The Leader of Opposition made the call following views expressed by former Judge and Governor General Sir Frank Kabui suggesting, in the absence of Covid 19 in Honiara posing a real threat to the public, the arrest or prosecution of any person caught acting in breach of an order under the Emergency Regulations will lack jurisdiction in law. 

Sir Kabui relied on facts arising out of the previous lock-down exercise in supporting his views.

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“This is a serious legal issue of public interest.  It is not a question of whether the order for a lock-down is lawful but rather, whether giving effect to the order by actually arresting and prosecuting people found to be acting in breach in a simulated exercise is reasonably justifiable given the limited scope of section 16 of the Constitution.

“It is important to prepare our people for the worst case scenario through practice however, it cannot come at the expense of openly violating our people’s fundamental rights under the Constitution,” says Hon. Wale.

“I therefore call on the Prime Minister and the Oversight Committee to call off the planned lock down and to take the matter to court for an independent ruling on all legal questions arising.  This is too important to be brushed under the carpet,” the Opposition  Leader adds.

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