The legal year in Papua New Guinea opens for 2024 with a forthright challenge to everyone to respect and adhere to the rule of law.
That call for adherence to law is for everyone regardless of your status.
Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika was blunt and condemned the looting and riot that happened in Port Moresby in early January and February this year
The civil unrest in Port Moresby on January 10 and February 1 this year took prominence as a topic to lay out what everyone concerned about law must do this year to make Papua New Guinea great, safe and peaceful to live in.
The theme for the legal year opening was adherence to the rule of law and Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika condemned the looting and civil unrest that occurred
He said the looting indicated that our adherence to the rule of law is weak.
“The same act of lawlessness was repeated nine days later,” Sir Gibbs said.
He said the unacceptable events threaten and continue to threaten the rule of law that everyone is subjected to, despite his or her status.
Steering away from the looting but still focused on adherence to the rule of law, Sir Gibbs called out NCD Governor Powes Parkop why betel nut stains are defacing the city’s environment.
He said there is an act in place that abolishes the selling of betel nut.
“The summary offences act of NCD prohibits sales and spitting of betel nut around the city.”
“The summary offences act, is that a law, yes it is a law. It is a law that is in force.
“Why is it not enforced or executed?
“Has anybody executed that law?
“That is why I wanted the honourable governor to be here but here is not here,” Sir Gibbs called out.
He asked who is able to enforce the rule of law under the summary offences act penalizing betel chewers who deface the environment with betel nut spittle
Sir Gibbs said may be this country needs a college for betel nut chewers who can be responsible in disposing off their spittle
He stressed everyone including market street vendors, politicians, judges and whosoever are guardians and servants of the law and for this year, everyone must adhere to the rule of law always.
He said there must be love for the country in order for us to follow the rule of law and ultimately our character defines our country.