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


Ravuvu Lashes Out At Gates Judgment

USP Pacific Journalism Online:
USP Pasifik Nius:
USP Pasifik Nius stories on Scoop (NZ):
Have your say:

SUVA: Fiji's Constitutional Review Commission chairman, Professor Asesela Ravuvu, has lashed out at the High Court judgment upholding the validity of the multiracial 1997 constitution, saying politics must become before the law.

And the Attorney-General, Alipate Qetaki, has been accused of deliberately delaying the legal process over the constitution.

Justice Anthony Gates yesterday adjourned until Monday a ruling on a stay order application on his judgement pending the appeal.

According to the Fiji Times, Lautoka lawyer Anu Patel had argued that an immediate date should be fixed by the Court of Appeal to hear the case instead of the High Court considering the stay order separately.

Patel said he had written to the Attorney-General's office suggesting that the Court of Appeal start hearing the actual grounds of appeal tomorrow.

He quoted a Fiji Times report (Sept 9) in which Qetaki was quoted as saying that challenging the abrogation of the constitution was futile and a ruling would not be made until 2003 due to the pace of the judicial system.

The Fiji Sun today reported that Prof Ravuvu, who is on leave from the University of the South Pacific for his constitutional review role, said yesterday that because of the current crisis, "everything has to wait" until the political problem was solved.

"That includes the law, as they have to allow the decision makers to find a solution to the current crisis," said Prof Ravuvu.

"The decision makers of this country are the chiefs, politicians and so let them work at the solution. The problem here is that we are blinded by the fact that everything is law," he said.

"The point I'm trying to stress is that when we have resolved the problem then the legal framework takes its place."

Prof Ravuvu indicated that it would be difficult to bring in the legal framework when the political problems from the May 19 coup were still not resolved.

"Justice Gates should understand the sensitivity of the crisis we are undergoing before he comes up with such a ruling," he told the Fiji Sun.

"And we should be aware that democracy was a system used by the Europeans, which is now being forced onto a Third World country like Fiji."

However, Prof Ravuvu said that the ruling by Justice Gates had not deterred the constitutional review team.

Prof Ravuvu added that the majority of submissions so far had pushed for Fijian leadership and the declaration of Fiji as a Christian state.

No Indo-Fijian community or political groups are represented in the commission, although four individual Christian Indians are members.

* In 1991, Prof Ravuvu authored a book called "The Façade of Democracy" in which he argued that indigenous Fijians "must be assured of a degree of political paramountcy if all races are to live together peacefully".

He also helped draft the 1990 constitution which established "indigenous Fijian supremacy".


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>


Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC