BY PAUL OATES
Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Duncan Kerr, as a young lawyer, reportedly had a large part in the drafting of PNG’s constitution.
The announcement of his intention to retire from politics at the next federal election prompted me to examine the historical document that articulated the ideals and the hopes of PNG’s ‘founding fathers’.
At Independence, when PNG’s leaders accepted responsibility for their country, they at the same time became accountable for acting in accordance with what is expressed in their constitution.
Thirty-four years after Independence, it seems appropriate to examine if the PNG constitution remains a meaningful document and to examine, where it may not have been followed, who might be responsible for this failure.
It might then be appropriate to examine what sanctions ought to be imposed on those who, under PNG’s constitution, are accountable. Fortunately the constitution clearly sets out the process of defining responsibility.
In the accompanying document, which you can download using the link below, I have selected relevant parts of PNG’s constitution and, in the light of recent events in PNG, have highlighted in red some interesting areas.
It is questionable as to whether the constitution is being followed. If it is not, it could be concluded that there have been unconstitutional acts.
If so, whose then has the duty to investigate and rectify such breaches?