Muria: existence of SOPE important

Attorney General John Muria Jnr
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ATTORNEY General John Muria Jnr says the existence of a State of Public Emergency today is more important than it ever was.

He said the State of Public Emergency continues into its sixth declaration to protect our citizens; the Government continues to put in measures to ensure the population is protected, despite the ongoing community transmission.

He said the successfulness of our fight against COVID-19 is dependent on the cooperation of our people to the measures put in place by the Government.

Whilst the Constitution provides for imposition of these restrictions in an Emergency or public health emergency, it is also equally important that our Citizens continue to be protected by law.

This is where the role of the Courts is important.

He however said, the Courts must always balance the competing interests of all people.

“A person’s liberty must not be used to the detriment of fellow citizens. For example, A restriction on the movement of a person, is legislated to ensure that 600,000 others are protected,” Muria stressed.

“It is very disheartening to see that fellow Solomon Islanders intentionally disregarding these measures. Amongst them are our well-educated Solomon Islanders.

“I would like to convey my deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones during these times. The State of Public Emergency Regulations contains a number of restrictions on the liberties of our people”, Muria said.

He also said the Courts will need to brace themselves for the emerging areas of law that may arise from issues relating to COVID-19.