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Court to decide whether Schram case will be public or private

Albert-Schram
Dr Albert Schram - support for his position coming from PNG and internationally

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY – A National Court judge will decide on Tuesday whether the dismissal of Dr Albert Schram from his vice-chancellorship of the University of Technology will proceed to judicial review or be dealt with as a private matter of wrongful dismissal.

A judicial review of the decision making process of the university Council would publicly determine whether due process was followed and natural justice prevailed.

Dr Schram’s lawyer Emmanuel Isaac is expected to argue that the Council’s inquiry into the allegations against the vice-chancellor was biased and did not offer the presumption of innocence or provide a fair hearing.

It is now more than a month since Dr Schram’s dismissal and it is believed he and his wife Paulina remain in Port Moresby living off their savings.

Meanwhile, the New York-based Scholars at Risk Network is understood to have communicated with Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Higher Education expressing concern at the Schram case and referring to the vice-chancellor’s exoneration on the same allegations in 2014.

The international organisation has also urged his re-instatement as soon as practicable.

Two days ago, PNG Attitude reported that the leaders of four local government authorities in Morobe Province, where Unitech is located, had also petitioned the PNG government to prevent Dr Schram’s removal from his position.

This unusual move from a representative group of PNG civil society is believed to have buoyed Dr Schram’s spirits as he continues the fight for his job and reputation.

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