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26 June 2009

Timor court wraps up National Petroleum Authority dispute

25 June 2009 Upstream staff - East Timor's Constitutional Court has ruled against the main opposition party Fretilin's petition that the National Petroleum Authority created last year is unconstitutional.

Fretilin said today the court had rejected its arguments, and the party would respect the decision and comply with it.

Fretilin said that respecting court decisions and complying with them "without fuss or complaint is an important way of entrenching the rule of law in Timor-Leste's young democracy and justice system".

"It shows once again that our courts are independent and credible. This ruling cements that reputation," said the party.

However, Fretilin continued "to have grave concerns about the lack of transparency of the decree law" that led to the creation of the National Petroleum Authority, and that Fretilin would review and amend the law "at the first opportunity".

The National Petroleum Authority is the regulator of all oil and gas activities in East Timor's sovereign areas and in the joint petroleum development area shared with Australia.

The body was set up last June to replace the Timor Sea Designated Authority and the East Timor regulator.

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