13 Dec 2004

Fiji legal profession has to clean up its act, says Law Society head

4:50 pm on 13 December 2004

The Fiji Law Society says corruption is rife in the legal profession and a complaint against the Attorney General, Qoriniasi Bale, will not be given priority.

The Citizens Constitutional Forum has asked the society to ban Mr Bale from practising law, alleging he acted corruptly in the premature release of the Seniloli.

The CCF alleges Mr Bale was in a conflict of interest with his roles as Attorney General and the Minister for Justice.

The law society's president, Graham Leung, says he's inherited sixty other complaints about lawyers and high profile cases will not be given priority.

He says the profession as a whole needs to clean up its act.

"I think the legal profession in Fiji is in danger of losing its soul and we've got to return the nobility and the element of public service back into the legal profession. And as I speak two lawyers have been charged with criminal offences a third lawyer has been disbarred and is behind bars."

Mr Leung says the society is hugely underresourced.