Australian Chief Justice Susan Kiefel gives lecture on Judicial review

Australian Chief Justice Honourable Susan Kiefel says judicial reviews are a critical part of the court process as these reflect the importance of the Constitution.

She said this when giving a lecture at the Sir Buri Kidu Lecture Series on the topic of “Prerogative writs and modern judiciary review – constancy and change” at the University of Papua New Guinea on May 17, 2023.

“The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and it cannot be undermined and influenced by any government decisions,” she said.

She said the judicial reviews kept the government actions in check.

“The Constitution Review Committee is immune to change and the courts should continue to review their decisions as this will help in shaping the sovereignty of this country,” she said.

Her Honour said the Constitution was designed to encourage the Papua New Guinean way of life.

She said the Constitution was to guide the courts to hold the government accountable for its actions.

“The judicial review is an important part of the court’s system, it has powers to hold government liable for its decisions and actions,” she said.

Her Honour added that in 1972, the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare spoke of the idea of homegrown Constitution before the country gained independence.

“The Constitution cannot be of foreign precedent or transfer of power from other authorities to say what the law is; section 75 (5) of the Constitution cannot be removed by the parliament,” she said.

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