The Papua New Guinea Ombudsman Commission is challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption (OLICAC), which was recently passed by Parliament as the enabling legislation of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
It has filed a Special Reference pursuant to Section 19 of the Constitution in the Supreme Court.
It is seeking the opinion of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Organic Law on the Independent Commission Against Corruption and also the establishment and operation of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Chief Ombudsman Richard Pagen and Ombudsman Kevin Kepore in a statement saying it is that OLICAC does not comply with other existing laws and that the establishment of the ICAC duplicates the functions of other constitutional institutions such as the Ombudsman Commission, Police and the Office of the Public Prosecutor.
The Commission says after reviewing the draft ICAC law, it had written to the responsible authorities including the Prime Minister, Chairman of the Constitutional Laws, Acts and Subordinate Legislation Committee and all the Members of Parliament that there are duplicity issues which they needed to seriously consider and deliberate when Parliament sits to consider the law on its third reading.
The Ombudsman Commission says the file has already been served on the Principal Legal Adviser to the National Executive Council- the Attorney General.
It further says the Supreme Court Registry has advised that the matter has been listed for directions hearing on July 5th, 2021.
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