The High Court of Solomon Islands. Photo credit: SIBC.

The High Court of Solomon Islands. Photo credit: SIBC.

Preliminary hearings into the lawsuit against the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission (PEC) and the Attorney-General has been adjourned to early August.

The two parties have been challenged to prove the validity of the 2015 Parliament Entitlements Commission Amendment Regulation.

The amended regulation includes the controversial tax-free salaries for parliament members and the introduction of life pension for one term MPs.

The claimants are Waita Ben Tabusasi, Ruth Liloqula, the MP for West Makira Derick Manu’ari, Tony Hughes and Reverend Graham Mark.

In court this morning, the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission was represented by private law firm – Sol Law. The Attorney General was not present.

Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer told the parties present all disclosures to the case must be filed by July 23.

The next preliminary hearing will be on August 7.

Meanwhile, the Constitution Review Committee of the National Parliament has invited written submissions from members of the public on the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission (PEC) membership.

The Parliamentary Entitlements Commission is established under Section 69 A of the Constitution with the mandate to regulate
entitlements of the members of Parliament, including pensions to former members of Parliament.

The Constitution Review Committee today says, any review on the mandate of the PEC is vital as its recent decision to award tax-free
entitlements to members of Parliament has brought the independence of the Commission under serious question.

Meanwhile, the Constitution Review Committee assures the public that all submissions are confidential until they are made publicly by the Committee.

The closing date for all submissions is Monday next week.

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