World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

LAl Hits Out At Proposed Changes


Pacific Media Watch: http://pactok.net.au/docs/pmw/

Pasifik Nius: http://www.usp.ac.fj/journ/nius/index.htm

SUVA: Dr Brij Lal, one of the architects of Fiji's 1997 Constitution, yesterday hit out at proposed changes to the Constitution, the Fiji Times reports.

Stressing that it was too soon to bring about changes, Dr Lal, like his colleague on the Reeves Commission, Tomasi Vakatora said the Constitution was not meant to be changed at the whim of government.

Speaking from the Australian National University in Canberra, where he is a lecturer, Dr Lal said the Constitution should not become a play-thing of the Government.

He said controversial sections should be interpreted by the Supreme Court and that the document should be given a fair trial before any changes were made.

"The constitution in its very nature is an enduring document that enshrines the principles and values of the government of a nation," Dr Lal said.

He agreed with comments by Vakatora that the Constitution be given a fair trial before amendments were proposed.

Dr Lal cautioned against changes, however minor they were.

"The Constitution has both a practical and a symbolic significance," he said.

"Any changes, and even minor ones, should be considered seriously."

Dr Lal pointed out that the Supreme Court was the highest interpreter of the Constitution and that legal interpretation on controversial sections should be made by it.

"If there are deemed to be controversial sections, then the Constitution should be sent to the ultimate interpreter - the Supreme Court," he said.

In an editorial headlined "Open up, prime minister", the Fiji Times said: "The Constitution has not been in place for two years and already changes are being made.

"The Prime Minister [Mahendra Chaudhry] has brushed aside criticism of the amendments.

"He says the changes are minor.

"No change to the supreme law of the land can be minor. For it is this document which is the very font of every law and bylaw which governs the lives of all people in the country - resident or visitor.

"In its usual arrogant way, the People's Coalition has cited its mandate to rule as the rubber stamp for the decisions that it makes.

"That's not good enough."

+++niuswire

This document is for educational and research use only. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright source before reprinting. PASIFIK NIUS service is provided by the niusedita via the Journalism Program, University of the South Pacific.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

ALSO:

Myanmar: UN Chief Rohingya Refugee Crisis Enters Second Year

Over 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar to ramshackle refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar area, Bangladesh after being forced from their homes by a military operation which UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein compared, at the time, to ethnic cleansing. More>>

ALSO:

Scott Morrison In Hot Seat: NZ Congratulates Current Australian PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today congratulated Scott Morrison on winning the leadership of the Australian Liberal Party and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. More>>

ALSO:

Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>

ALSO: