Supreme Court rules PMMR Act 2017 unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective

The Supreme Court today declared that the Public Money Management Regularization Act 2017 (PMMR ACT 2017) is unconstitutional, invalid and ineffective in its entirety.

The decision was made by majority of a panel of five (5) Supreme Court Judges – Salika CJ, Kandakasi DCJ, Gavara-Nanu J, Cannings J and Yagi J.

The Ombudsman Commission filed the Reference under Section 19 of the Constitution seeking the opinion of the Supreme Court on the interpretation and application of the provisions of the Constitution and the Public Money Management Regularisation Act 2017, a law that came into operation on 14 February 2018.

The Reference was filed by the Ombudsman Commission in 2018 and the constitutional issues relate to:

  • Right to ownership of property;
  • Constitutional status of constitutional institutions;
  • Removal of jurisdiction of the courts;
  • Parliamentary control of public finance;
  • Harsh and oppressive penalties;
  • Protection of the law;
  • Constitution as Supreme law; and
  • Freedom of Expression

The Chief Justice, Sir Gibs Salika whilst reading the summary of the decision said “the whole Act is deemed constitutionally invalid and unenforceable, and in which case, all other questions requiring answers are rendered redundant”.

The Ombudsman Commission welcomes the Supreme Court Decision and urges all parties involved to have wider consultation on essential proposed laws, and amendments before having it tabled in Parliament to be passed as a law.

The Ombudsman Commission is an independent constitutional institution conferred with a number of functions, one of which is the power to file Constitutional references to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion on the constitutionality of laws or proposed laws under Section 19 of the Constitution.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Deborah Telek

    Great work, OC!!! Thank you so much!!

  2. chris oroho


  3. Rex Ero: C/ Ialibu Catholic Church. P.O. Box 69, MENDI 251 S.H.P.

    The decision of the Supreme Court is a victory for the OC and the people of PNG. We appreciate it and congratulate the OC for a job well done.
    We have for a long time become victims of doubt, fear and anxiety, anger and frustration when one man (PM) bulldozed the decisions of the NEC all of which I believe if questioned by the OC will be rendered unlawful and wrong.
    We in PNG need the OC to be vigilante, sharp, equiped, empowered and powerful more than any body except the Court. Well done OC!

  4. Uke veronica

    So is the arest of the Former PM PO legal ?
    He is a constitutional office holder and must be referred to Ombudsmen leadership code first.?

    1. OCPNG

      Former PM’s arrest is a different process. We cannot comment on that.

  5. Michael Aula Kenzy

    If for money fraud then let the fraud squad do their job from source documents. If constitutional abuses then let the OC execute yteat as deemed applicable.

Leave a Reply