President of Nauru Baron Waqa, pictured with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott last year.

President of Nauru Baron Waqa, pictured with Prime Minister Tony Abbott last year. Photo: AFP/Roberto Schmidt

Nauru President Baron Waqa has issued a fierce rebuttal against claims his country has abandoned the rule of law, saying ''we will determine who comes to our nation''.

Nauru sacked and deported its only magistrate Peter Law on Sunday and denied Chief Justice Geoffrey Eames a visa to re-enter the country. Solicitor-General Steven Bliim then resigned in protest. All three men are Australian.

Mr Law and Justice Eames have both described the events as an abuse or breach of law and Department of Foreign Affairs has also reported that Australia has ''conveyed the concerns of the Australian government about the implications of these actions for the rule of law in Nauru'' through its High Commissioner Bruce Cowled. 

On Friday, a statement from Mr Waqa attacked recent media coverage ''alleging that we have somehow abandoned the rule of law''.

''Nothing could be further from the truth and we consider these accusations an attack on our sovereignty,'' he said.

In words reminiscent of John Howard's famous phrase, Mr Waqa continued: ''We will determine who comes to our nation, and those coming from overseas who do not act in our national interest will not be welcomed.''

He added that ''we would expect any other nation to act in a similar way to protect its borders''.

Mr Waqa continued that ''for too long, some people appointed to key positions in Nauru – including people from overseas – have engaged in unacceptable conduct that compromised their roles.''

The Nauru government issued a previous statement on Tuesday that alleged Mr Law was deported because the Nauru government had lost confidence ''in the ability of Mr Law to hear matters in a manner considered to be fair and equal''.

The statement said that a ''number'' of complaints had been made against Mr Law by ''former governments, member of the public and judiciary staff''.

Mr Law has rejected these claims as ''outrageous and preposterous''.

On Friday, Mr Law said it was a "great surprise" that the Nauru government was suggesting it was not happy with expats who worked on the island.

"All of the expats I've known have worked very hard, very conscientiously. They're people who bring their expertise, they're people who compromise their lifestyle by going to Nauru," he said, explaining that he had had to be away from family as the island's magistrate.

Mr Law said that he assumed the Nauru government was "desperately trying to cover their tracks" with the strongly worded statement.

"They've come under an enormous amount of criticism for sacking me."

The President of the Nauru Law Society Vinci Clodumar wrote to Mr Waqa on Thursday, expressing concern for what he described as a "shameful display of ... Nauran 'arrogance' to the rule of law" when Mr Law was deported.

In a statement on Friday, Justice Eames defended the injunction he issued last weekend, in an attempt to stop Mr Law's deportation.

"The actions taken by me ... in no way are intended to deny the sovereignty of the Nauru government," he said.

Justice Eames said he hoped to be back working in Nauru within about a week.

Amid the judicial crisis, it has also emerged that both Mr Law and Justice Eames resisted the Nauruan government's push for the trials of asylum seekers charged with rioting to be held inside the island's detention centre, rather than in open court.

The government's statement came as the weekly Operation Sovereign Borders update reported that no boats had reached Australia in the past week.

The federal government reported that no asylum seekers had arrived by boat for 36 days.

"This is the longest period of no illegal boat arrivals since March of 2009," the statement said.

Earlier this week, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison described the situation in Nauru as ''very much about internal Nauruan politics'', but said he wanted to know the fate of the trials, as directions hearings were due to be held this week.

''What is important is we need to understand how those cases are going to be dealt with,'' Mr Morrison told 2GB Radio on Monday.

When asked on Friday if, given Mr Waqa's anger, the Australian government had concerns that Nauru may stop or hinder the processing of asylum seekers on the island, Mr Morrison's office pointed Fairfax Media to an answer in his press conference earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Mr Morrison said he was seeking an update on how the trials of asylum seekers charged with rioting on Nauru will be dealt with.

"We obviously want this matter resolved as quickly as possible and any uncertainty in this area clarified and tidied up.  But that is a matter for the Nauruan Government, it is not for the Australian government to be dictating how they ultimately resolve these things internally," he said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has also been contacted for comment about Mr Waqa's statement.

On Friday a spokeswoman for the DFAT said: "We are aware that the President of Nauru has issued a statement today. Australia continues to work through the issues with the Nauru government."

with Michael Gordon

Follow us on Twitter