Due to the special nature of and the public interest in the timely disposition of appeals from lower courts and Judicial, and the large backlog of appeals & review cases pending before the National court, it was decided by the Judiciary hierarchy to establish a separate track in the Registry to deal with just Appeal & Judicial review cases only.
The Appeals & Judicial Review Track commenced in September2004 as a separate track distinct from the other civil Tracks.
It is headed by the Track Judge for Appeals & Judicial Review, Hon. Justice Gavara-Nanu but is subject to the sitting of other judges as per a monthly issued calendar.
The Track is divided into two types of proceedings; Judicial Review and Civil Appeal cases, both cases upon registration are allocated listing dates for parties to appear in court quickly for relevant directions of the court to speedily progress the matter.
The Judicial Review track deals with the review of decisions made by public authorities, it is commenced by way of Originating Summons but is treated differently to other civil proceedings commenced by originating summons due to its special nature in regards to its need for speedy disposal.
It also differs in that Leave for Judicial Review must first be granted prior to any other orders sought in the Originating Summons by the plaintiff. Failure in obtaining the leave by meeting the strict requirements renders the proceedings dismissed.
The Appeal Track is divided up into Civil Appeal, Criminal Appeal, Statutory Appeals and extension of time to file an Appeal out of time by way of Originating Summons.
- District Court
Appeals are generally filed to challenge the decision of a lower court (District Court) and the appeal notices are actually lodged and registered at the District Court registrar which made the order appealed. No appeals from decision of district courts are initiated at the National Court registry. It must be done at the district court registry.
- Statutory Appeals
Various Statutory provisions provide for a aggrieved party to appeal from the decision of a Statutory body set up under the Statute to appeal straight to the National Court. Appeals commenced through this process is first registered at the National Court registry. It also includes appeals from the Defence Force Tribunal where decisions made by them can only be heard by a Military Judge.
Appeals registered under the Defence Force Act , although a Statutory appeal can only be heard by a military judge who is properly sworn in as such under a appropriate law. No other Judge would hear such appeals.
There are currently three Military Judges in Papua New Guinea which have been sworn in as Military Judges.
Applications for extension of time to lodge appeal
Parties who are confronted with appeal time limits having been expired can be able to make a application by originating summons to seek extension of time to lodge a appeal notice. This is mostly done for appeals of district court decision.
This type of application is managed by this track.
Rules and Provisions of Statutes
The processes and procedures of practice are governed by the National Court Rules, Civil Practice Rules on Judicial Review Rules (Amended 2005), provisions of various statutes as well as the District Court Act.
Like all other tracks in the registry, the Appeals and Judicial Review Track have the following Listings that is generated from Fresh & pending matters that are listed as per request of parties.
- Directions Hearing – Appeal and Judicial Review Directions Hearing is heard only on Mondays within a circuit Month and deals with fresh and pending cases requiring specific directions from the Judge to progress the case toward a final Trial/Hearing
- Motions – Motions days are every Tuesday and Thursdays only and consists of pending and fresh
- Trial – Trial matters are fixed and heard on Wednesdays and Fridays only with date’s being obtained from the direction hearing sitting and are fixed by the Judge and parties.
- Like all other tracks The Appeals & Judicial Review Track also summarily disposes of dormant files that show no activity in the last year or so and are dealt with.
The role of the Appeals and Judicial Review Track team is to ensure that cases registered under this Track are held in safe custody and properly managed and administered for their eventual disposition by the Courts.
Documents are sealed and filed; file searches are made available for parties and advice provided where necessary.
Our main dealing is via correspondence, telephone, e-mail and over the counter.
The Appeals & Judicial review track officers can be contacted here.