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Fiji developments encouraging, says Law Society

MEDIA RELEASE – For immediate use, 26 February 2014

Fiji developments encouraging, says Law Society

The efforts being made to encourage new voter registration and awareness in Fiji are encouraging signs of a return to democracy, the New Zealand Law Society says.

“The Law Society has not hesitated to speak out in the past when actions in Fiji have appeared to be at odds with the rule of law,” says the convenor of the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee, Austin Forbes QC.

“It is equally important that we acknowledge progress and moves to restoring a system where the government, courts and executive balance each other.

Mr Forbes said the basic levels of democracy and the rule of law should be guaranteed by the Fijian Constitution which was released in September 2013.

“Another positive sign of Fiji’s commitment includes the statement issued by the Pacific Island Forum Ministerial Contact Group following its visit to Fiji earlier this month. The Contact Group is chaired by New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, and it welcomed what it described as ‘significant progress’ made in Fiji,” he said.

“However, the Law Society will be an interested observer on how the new Government will deal with over 400 decrees made by the military Government since 2006. It is to be hoped that these will all be reviewed.”

ENDS

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