Fiji – A Mess ?

The Australia News Network reports last night on television paint a pretty depressing future for Fiji..

Bainimarama has decided to sack all public service workers over the age of 55 to cut back on govt spending..and on the legal front things are going from bad to worse

ALB has a detailed report on new legal appointments. They write…

Lawyers tangled in "illegal" Fiji posts

Foreign lawyers are being appointed to ‘unlawful’ legal posts under Fiji’s new military regime, say regional legal bodies.

After sacking the entire judiciary, Fiji’s military regime made new posts on Monday, re-appointing seven out of nine magistrates. The appointments include New Zealand lawyer Christopher Pryde, who was sworn in again as solicitor-general.

However, law bodies have condemned the reappointments, which they deem to be illegal under Judicature decree. The president of the Fiji Law Society (FLS) – detained last week on alleged charges of sedition – said that the appointments were unlawful since the previous posts prior to the abrogation of the constitution were "proper".

Full report at


While NZ radio is reporting that it is going to be almost impossible to find a legal avenue to challenge the latest constitutional abrogation.

No legal avenue left to restore Fiji constitution, says academic

A lawyer who helped successfully argue that Fiji’s constitution could not be abrogated in 2001 says there is no legal avenue left to challenge the latest abrogation.

Professor George Williams from the University of New South Wales, appeared in the Chandrika Prasad case.

He says that case was exceptional because the coup government and Commodore Frank Bainimarama obeyed the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the constitution could not be abrogated.

He says there has been a fundamentally different response to the latest Court of Appeal ruling that the constitution can’t be abrogated and that democracy must be restored.

“2001 there was prepared to be respect for the rule of law. That has its limits and if the military really wants to take control as it does in this case, well, it’s prepared to take that further step and have a coup that clearly does not have any legality or any basis within law to support it.”

Professor Williams says the government has now abrogated the old legal system and the situation can only be resolved by diplomacy and the people of Fiji.


and you can see how successfully the Fijian media has been gagged – we challenge you to find a coup story (never mind a negative one) at the Fiji Times

and now we learn from ABC Australia.. so it looks as though we won’t be getting much reality in the forseeable future

Pacnews drops Fiji coverage after censorship

Fiji’s government censors have forced a Suva-based international wire service to remove an online story about the UN Security Council’s condemnation of the scrapping of the constitution.

Sources in Fiji have confirmed the story was removed, after the Pacnews wire service in Suva was visited last night by censors and police.

The ABC has been told the censors demanded all future Pacnews bulletins and updates be screened by them, before being sent to subscribers around the world.

Pacnews has refused to do this, but has decided not to publish any story on Fiji.

The censorship decision follows last week’s detention of a Pacnews reporter.

There were also warnings from the military backed regime to local journalists who file to overseas news organisations not to report any issues its regards as negative about Fiji’s leaders and their actions.