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SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST O’NEILL GOVERNMENT

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by BRYAN KRAMER

Full bench (5 Judges) of the Supreme Court chaired by the Chief Justice Salamo Injia has upheld former Ombudsman Commission Ila Geno and former Opposition Leader Belden Namah applications challenging the O’Neill Government’s amendments to Section 145 of Constitution relating to a motion of no confidence.

Section 145 of the Constitution provides Parliament the power to move a motion of no confidence to remove the Prime Minister; his entire Cabinet (Ministers) or any individual Government Minister. The provision or section sets out the strict procedure or criteria to invoke these powers; which includes the grace period to which a motion of no confidence is prohibited (restricted), notice period required and number of MP’s needed to endorse or sign the notice of motion before Parliament can consider it.

Before reporting the specific findings of the Supreme Court ruling I thought it appropriate to first provide some background context and history to help understand the issues…