Court rules Tonga Parliament pay rises unlawful, plaintiff allows to proceed legal actions

The parliament’s decision to grant MPs pay rises which allowed a pay back period of three years from 2018 until 2021 was a breach of the constitution, the Lord Chief Justice Whitten has ruled today.

The decision comes after Member for Tongatapu 4 Mateni Tapueluelu sought leave to apply for judicial review of two resolutions of the Legislative Assembly – 58-A/2018 and 60A/2018 – passed in 2018 and a decision in 2022 to implement those resolutions.

Mr Whitten ruled that Tapueluelu has “established an arguable case that” the House did not comply with its own rule which stipulated that such decisions must be “dealt with as motions”.

As Kaniva News reported previously the House passed the decisions after circulating a circular among its MPs.

However Mr Whitten said previously that “The circulars were neither a motion nor a resolution”.

“The Defendants’ challenge to jurisdiction is refused”, Mr Whitten said today.

“The Plaintiff has leave to proceed.

“The Defendants are to file a Statement of Defence by 22 September 2023.

“The Plaintiff is to file any Statement of Reply by 13 October 2023.

“The matter will be listed for further directions before Tupou J on 20 October 2023 at 9 AM in court 2 or such other date as Her Honour may advise.

The costs of the Defendants’ application shall be costs in the cause”.

…………… please check back for more information

About The Author

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.


Latest news

Related news