Human Rights: Bougainville Peace Agreement

BPA (B)(8):

123. The autonomous Bougainville Government will have the power to provide additional guarantees of human rights in Bougainville, which do not abrogate the human rights provisions in the National Constitution.

124. The autonomous Bougainville Government will have the power to establish mechanisms for enforcement of human rights that do not abrogate the human rights provisions in the National Constitution.

125. The autonomous Bougainville Government will have the power to qualify human rights incidental to the exercise of its powers and functions under Section 38 of the National Constitution, except in relation to 'defense'.

126. Proceedings for the enforcement of human rights by residents of Bougainville may be commenced in Bougainville courts or institutions or the National Court.

127. The Supreme Court will remain the final court of appeal on human rights matters.

128. The National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government will establish a joint commission to examine and report on the issues that would be involved in giving the autonomous Bougainville Government power to make laws permitting courts or Councils of Elders to require clan-groups to which persons convicted of criminal offenses belong to meet customary, non-custodial obligations.

129. The terms of reference for the commission will direct it to have full regard for:

(a) the aspirations of Bougainvilleans for the integration of custom and introduced law;

(b) the national human rights regime;

(c) the justice system in Bougainville and Papua New Guinea as a whole; and

(d) the international human rights system and other relevant aspects of international law.

130. The joint commission will be established at the initiative of either Government; its membership will be mutually agreed; the costs of the commission will be shared.

131. The commission's report, which will be submitted by an agreed date, will be tabled for consideration in the National Parliament and the Bougainville legislature.

132. The National Government and the autonomous Bougainville Government will inform one another of the outcome of the debates in their respective legislatures, and co-operate in giving effect to mutually acceptable, practical follow-up action, as may be appropriate, through consultation, the joint supervisory body or the agreed five-yearly reviews.

133. The above procedures may also be used to follow-up on doubts about whether the autonomous Bougainville Government has power under the existing human rights provisions to make laws regulating or restricting the qualified rights other than laws made in accordance with Section 38 of the National Constitution.

Implementation History

2001

No Implementation

No further information is available on whether steps towards implementing the human rights provision in the peace agreement had been taken. 

2002

No Implementation

No further developments observed this year.

2003

Minimum Implementation

Governor John Momis, during a presentation to a high-powered ministerial delegation visiting Bougainville in February 2003, said that one of the major outstanding issues of his government and other leaders involved in the peace process was the, “provision of compensation for some of the grave human rights abuses that occurred during the conflict."1 In addition, the draft constitution, “provides for the adoption of the human rights and freedoms contained under the PNG constitution and the adoption of the criminal code."2

  • 1. "Papua New Guinea: Bougainville governor calls for strong government support," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 19, 2003.
  • 2. "Papua New Guinea: Draft Bougainville constitution under consideration," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 16, 2003.
2004

Intermediate Implementation

On 14 January 2004, the National Government handed over the constitution to the Autonomous Bougainville Government in Arawa.3 The new Autonomous Bougainville constitution has specific provision on human rights. Part 14 of the constitution, (Article 178-186), has different provisions related to human rights, including entitlement to reasonable damages for an individual’s human rights (Article 184). Bougainville citizens have additional human rights that go beyond those rights granted to their fellow citizens under the Papua New Guinea constitution.

  • 3. "Papua New Guinea government hands over Bougainville constitution," BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, January 17, 2005.
2005

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2005

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2006

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2007

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2008

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2009

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.

2010

Intermediate Implementation

No further developments observed.