Lawyers challenging the constitutionality of the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island have been granted permission by a Papua New Guinea court to visit the facility and interview detainees.
PNG's court of human rights, a division of the National Court, on Thursday rejected a bid to impose an interim injunction on further transfers until the centre's constitutionality can be determined.
But in refusing part of PNG opposition leader Belden Namah's application for the interim injunction, Justice David Canning said he would allow lawyers to visit and interview detainees.
"I will order the administrator of the centre ... to grant forthwith reasonable access by the plaintiff's lawyers to the centre so that the asylum seekers may, if they wish, communicate with those lawyers, and be provided with legal advice and assistance by them and give instructions to them," Justice Canning said.
"(Asylum seekers) have not been given adequate opportunity to give instructions to a lawyer of their choice in the place in which they are detained."
Outside court, Mr Namah's lawyer, Loani Henao, said he expected to travel to Manus on the weekend to interview the detainees.
He earlier said he had received instructions from Mr Namah to ask asylum seekers to join the case, but had been prevented by PNG's department of immigration from visiting the centre.
"We will definitely be going to see the asylum seekers on Manus Island," Mr Henao told reporters.
"I think the judge has stated that there are serious constitutional issues to be dealt with.
"We have asked the judge to refer matters to the Supreme Court. We are quite confident that at the end, we will get there."
There are currently 274 asylum seekers - including 34 children - on Manus, a small Pacific island located just two degrees from the equator.
The United Nations High Commission on Refugees and Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young have blasted conditions at the site, with the UNHCR labelling it unlawful.
The temporary facility located on Lombrum Naval Base is made up mostly of tents and the PNG government says it is trying to set up a more permanent facility closer to Manus's capital, Lorengau.
In rejecting the interim injunction application, Justice Canning said there were serious questions to be answered, but that he did not think the interests of justice would be served in granting the order.
"I do not see any injustice to the plaintiff of any other persons including the asylum seekers presently on Lombrum or those who might imminently be transferred there," he said.
"I can by contrast see that the defendants would reasonably perceive an injustice if the court were to, without being fully satisfied that something unconstitutional or unlawful had occurred, to injunct arrangements ... entered into in good faith by two independent governments dealing with such significant regional issues."
The government of PNG has filed a motion to dismiss the proceedings, arguing the National Court does not have the authority to deal with the constitutional questions raised by the case.
The court is expected to resume again on February 20 to hear the motion to dismiss and seek further directions on future hearings.
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