When the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea declared on April 26 last year that the detention since mid-2013 on Manus Island of asylum seekers by the Australian and PNG governments was unlawful, the expectation was that both governments would literally open the gates of the detention centre and let the 800-plus men go free. That, however, is not what happened, and Thursday the matter was back before the Supreme Court in Port Moresby to examine the actions of the PNG and Australian authorities after they received news of the court’s ruling.

The PNG Supreme Court ordered that “the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments  shall forthwith take all steps necessary to cease and prevent the continued unconstitutional and illegal detention of the asylum seekers or transferees at the relocation centre on Manus Island and the continued breach of the asylum seekers or transferees Constitutional and human rights”.