ATTORNEY-General John Muria Jnr says the 36hr mock lockdown will proceed as planned.
Mr Muria explained this is done as provided for under the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (Honiara Emergency Zone) (Restriction of Movement) Order 2021 and the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (Restriction of Movement of Vessels) (Coast of Honiara Emergency Zone) Order 2021.
The Attorney-General responded following calls made in the media for the Prime Minister to postpone, defer or rethink the lockdown because of legal issues.
Mr Muria in a statement today said the lockdown will go ahead from Sunday 29th 6pm to Tuesday 31st 6am as planned.
He said the Government has on a number of occasions made public statements on the purpose and the need for the exercise.
“There has been also advice provided on those occasions like the previous lockdowns that any person found to be in breach of the Lockdown Orders will face penalties as provided for under the State of Public Emergency Powers Regulations,” he said.
The Attorney-General said the Government will not be making any legal arguments in the media.
“If any person is aggrieved by the decisions by the Government or the Prime Minister, the proper avenue is to go to the courts and seek legal clarification,” Mr Muria said.
Attorney-General Muria said the Government is guided by the law and the interpretations of the law by the High Court of Solomon Islands, citing that the High Court has already held that the Orders by the Prime Minister in a lockdown are valid and constitutionally sound.
“This is an order that is made under the State of Public Emergency Regulations and will remain an order until it is deemed otherwise by the High Court of Solomon Islands,” he said.
Mr Muria also reiterated his call earlier this week for people to adhere to information and advice provided.
He said the lockdown orders are valid and constitutional and any breach of such orders will result in criminal proceedings.
The 36-hour ‘Trial lock-down’ at the Honiara Emergency Zone will be from 6pm on Sunday 29 August to 6am on Tuesday 31 August 2021.
The Honiara emergency zone is from Alligator Creek in the East to Poha in the West of Honiara.