Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) was pleased with the recent court of appeal ruling that clarifies the fact that resources are owned by the people.
The ruling was made following a high court ruling that the beche-de-mer consignment that were surrendered to the state by the Lord Howe people of Malaita outer islands do not belonged to them but the state.
But the court of appeal had ruled against that high court decision and made its ruling that resources are owned by the people and not the state.
This recent court of appeal ruling was welcomed by the MMF who sees it as the right decision to clarify to people of this nation about their ownership right over their resources.
MMF general secretary Charles Ashley said this is welcoming news for resources owners of Lord Howe and also resources owners throughout the country.
“MMF is pleased that the court of appeal has clarified this point of resources ownership after the High court made its earlier decision that the beach-de-mer consignment was not owned by the Lord Howe people but the state,” Mr Ashley said.
Ashley said although the court of appeal dismisses the appeal case of the people of Lord Howe, the decision on resource ownership is welcoming news for people throughout the country.
It was understood the court of appeal dismisses the Lord Howe People’s appeal on the ground that there is a law in place that bans the harvesting of beach-de-mer.
Mr Ashley said since the Lord Howe people breaks that law, one cannot go back to court to entertain their claim.
He said it was on this basis that the high court strikes out the claims of the people of Lord Howe and that they cannot go back to court since they break the law that forbids beach-de-mar harvesting.
“But MMF wants to tell our good people of Lord Howe and all resources owners that their appeal case has opened a way,” Mr Ashley said.
The Solomon Star understands the high court is yet to make a decision on another case challenging the law to ban the harvesting of beach-de-mer.
Mr Ashley said the ban the government put was to stop people from enjoying or harvesting their resources which they challenge.
“We argue on our first case that the government in parliament do not have any power to stop resources owners not to enjoy their resources.
“That case is still before the High Court and we will continue to help our people from Lord Howe to challenge that case on the regulation that puts a ban on the beach de mer,” Ashley added.
Adding, they will wait on the high court ruling on this case before they proceed further with the other case which the court of appeal has dismissed but made an interesting ruling to say resources are owned by the people.
By Daniel Namosuaia