Nauru Government Mum Over Action Against Judges

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Australian judicial bodies ‘deeply concerned’ for justice in Nauru

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 20, 2014) – The Nauru government is remaining silent over the sacking of a magistrate and the barring of its Chief Justice from re-entering the country.

The country's only resident magistrate Peter Law was sacked at the weekend and deported back to Australia while the visa of Chief Justice Geoffrey Eames' was withdrawn.

The men say the government gave no reasons for its actions but they understand ministers were unhappy with injunctions against the deportation of three business people which Mr Law had granted in the last ten days.

One of those businessmen is former Nauru government spokesman Rod Henshaw.

Mr Law says the cases were due in court again on Monday.

The Nauru government has not responded to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association have released a statement saying they are deeply concerned about the impact that the actions against the magistrate and the chief justice will have on the continuing administration of justice in Nauru.

The two bodies say the Australian Government has a responsibility to help ensure that due respect for the rule of law operates within the region, particularly given the arrangements Australia has made with the Nauruan Government regarding the offshore processing of asylum seekers.

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