Fiji Legal Community In Disarray

All the latest Australian newsmedia reports show a Fijian legal system in a state of crisis…

In the Australian  they write

Fiji’s lawyers to resist government purge
Chris Merritt and Mark Dodd | April 14, 2009

Article from:  The Australian
FIJI’S courts face chaos today as lawyers try to resist an attempted purge of the judiciary by the military regime running the Pacific nation, which now faces being kicked out of the Commonwealth.

The Fiji Law Society has urged judges sacked last week during the country’s latest political crisis to remain in office in defiance of the Government, which Australia labels a military dictatorship.

The society wants its members not to co-operate with judges who swear allegiance to the military regime, which Fiji’s Court of Appeal last week ruled to be illegal.

That ruling sparked the sacking of all Fiji’s judges and the tearing up of the constitution by President Josefa Iloilo, 88.

Mr Iloilo then reappointed 2006 coup leader and military chief Frank Bainimarama to the prime ministership and declared a 30-day state of emergency.


Radio NZ International says

Fiji prosecutor not at work, Fiji Law Society head in police custody

It has been confirmed that the director of public prosecutions, Josaia Naigulevu, was advised by his staff this morning not to come in to work because the was being taken over.
Reliable sources say military legal personnel and police have moved in as public prosecutors.
He is not under house arrest.
Meanwhile, our correspondent, Matelita Ragogo, says she spoke with the President of the Law Society, Dorsami Naidu, after he was taken in by police this morning.
“The last time I spoke to him was about an hour ago and he was still being held at the Lautoka Police Station. He said they hadn’t told him why he’d been brought in. They hadn’t started questioning him at that point.”

also see:  Fiji’s director of public prosecutions contests release of jailed government MPs


Also see

Talking Fiji Blog

Fiji Law Society President Arrested?
April 14, 2009

There are rumours that FLS President, Dorsami Naidu, has been taken in for questioning by the militarised Police.

He is said to have showed up at the Lautoka High Court this morning in defiance of Iloilo’s decree.

This follows a peaceful protest by a group of lawyers and NGOs led by Imrana Tuisolia. The protest occured outside Govenment Buildings this morning.


Raw Fiji News

Fiji High Court judgment against Qarase was flawed – Justice Gates and Pathik should have recused themselves from case
April 13, 2009
The Fiji Court of Appeal judgment which overturned the High Court ruling that the 2006 was lawful could have gone one step further and ruled that the first judgment in October 2008 was flawed because two of the judges, Justices Anthony Gates and Justice Davendra Pathik, should have recused themselves from hearing the case.
In the case of Justice Gates, he should have recused himself because his own appointment as acting Chief Justice was under legal challenge and any ruling in the Qarase versus Bainimarama was going to directly impinge on his own appointment. His sitting on the case was like asking the fox to guard the henhouse.


and the latest coming in from Fiji

All Courts, DPP Office closed

Email this page All the courts and the Director of Public Prosecutions Office are closed today.

The main entrance of the Suva courts have been cordoned off and police officers at the scene advised our reporters that the courts are closed and no one is allowed in.

All judges, magistrates and judicial officers were dismissed over the weekend.


and the media have been warned

Use discretion when writing stories

Use your discretion when writing stories.

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Information Neumi Leweni said that with the Public Emergency Regulation (PER) in place, news directors and journalist should draw the line when it comes to stories regarding Fiji.