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Supreme Court

787 of 2020
02 Sep 2020
16 Oct 2020
Justice Oliver Saksak
Kalkot Mataskelekele
Kalsale Family of Ifira - First Defendant; Christiane Brunet - Second Defendant; The Republic of Vanuatu - Third Defendant
Mr Sakiusa Kalsakau for the First Defendant as Applicant; Mr Kalkot Mataskelekele for the Claimant as Respondent; No appearances for Second and Third Defendants


1. The First Defendant Family through counsel applied on 20 July 2020 seeking Orders that the proceeding and claim of the Claimant Family be struck out with costs.

2. The applicant family say the issue of custom ownership has been properly determined and that the matter is now res judicata and that Ashun estoppel prohibits the Claimant for raising the issue, and that it is in the public interest the matter be brought to finality.

3. I heard Mr Kalsakau orally in relation to his written submissions on 2 September 2020. Mr Mataskelekele arrived late that morning and pleaded for time to make written submissions in response. I issued a Minute on that date recording what happened that morning and gave Mr Mataskelekele 7 days to file and serve his responses and submissions.

4. As at 16 October 2020 no response and/or submissions has been filed by Mr Mataskelekele.

5. The application by the First Defendant is therefore unchallenged. And I am persuaded by the submissions of Mr Kalsakau and accept them in their entirety.

6. Accordingly I allow the application. I set aside the earlier decision dated 15 June 2020 and hereby order that the claim and proceeding of the Claimant be hereby struck out.

7. I order the Claimant Family to pay the First Defendant’s costs of the proceeding on the standard basis as agreed or taxed.

DATED at Port Vila, this 16th day of October, 2020.


Oliver A. Saksak