Tauna Thomas reports

A judgement regarding the legality of the detentions of five men under the States of Public Emergency will not be handed down until August 25.

That’s a week before the special security measures are set to come to an end.

The date which is almost a month from now was set in the Supreme Court today following the conclusion of submissions by both the attorney representing the detainees and government lawyers.

The detainees are Courtney Hall, Everton Douglas, Nicholas Heat, Courtney Thompson and Gavin Noble.

Attorney representing the detainees John Clarke, Crown Counsel from the Attorney General’s Chambers, Louis Hacker and lawyer Wenworth Charles who represents the Minister of National Security all made submissions.

Clarke argued that the indefinite detention of the men is violating the Separation of Powers doctrine.

He argued that the suspension of natural rights such as liberty can only be done in a Court of Law and wasn’t for the Executive to determine.

Clarke described as an ‘Uncle Justice System’ the indefinite detention of persons under the Emergency Powers Act until the Police can utilise the formal justice system.

At least one of the witnesses had said gathering enough evidence to charge at least one of the detainees was part of the reason he was still being held.

But Mr. Hacker says under the Emergency Powers Regulations the Tribunal is not bound to strict rules of evidence.

He also argued that the men were being held through a lawful decision of the Review Tribunal which has never been brought into question.

He says all of them were granted the opportunity to appear before the Tribunal and comment on the information that was presented about them before a decision was made on their continued detention.

Hacker also argued that the men were not being held indefinitely.

This as the declarations and extensions of the SOEs always carries a date when it will be lifted.

Crown Counsel says the men could only be released if the detention orders were not validly made.

Mr. Charles in support of Crown Counsel’s arguments said the men’s detentions were made under extraordinary powers which carries a different regime than the Court of Law.

He says under that regime, the provisions for the detention of the men were not breached because a lawful detention was made.

He says a detention order was used.

He also says the forum under the Emergency Powers Regulations to review their detentions was used.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hacker says the Police have also maintained there’re reasonable grounds that all the detainees pose a considerable threat to public safety and should be held until the end of the enhanced security measures.

Clarke challenged that argument stating that laws which allow the indefinite detention of persons was the true threat to the nation.