Court ruling

Nauru govt mum over hefty payment to Australian lawyers

Justice Geof Muecke ruled last week that the group called the Nauru 19, which has been facing charges over a parliamentary protest for 3 years, is entitled to legal aid from the state.

Up to now the group has been relying on its Australian lawyers to work for free but it sought a court ruling when that situation became untenable.

The government is required to make a payment today of US$166,606 into the trust account of Sydney solicitor Christian Hearn.

PNG Supreme court rules Australian offshore detention centre illegal

The five-man bench ruled that the detention breached the right to personal liberty in the Constitution. Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justices Sir Bernard Sakora, Ambeng Kandakasi, Don Sawong and Terence Higgins also ordered that both Australia and Papua New Guinea Governments take all necessary steps to stop the operations of the regional processing centre.

Around 900 men are in the detention center on the Papua New Guinean Island, according to Australian immigration authorities.