17 Apr 2007

Fiji lawyers welcome support of regional body

7:58 pm on 17 April 2007

Fiji's Law Society says it values the backing local lawyers have been given in a report by the regional law association, Lawasia.

The law association for Asia and the Pacific sent an observer mission to Fiji late last month.

One of its recommendations was that members of the legal profession must be entitled to speak openly without fear of intimidation of the military.

The Fiji Law Society's vice President, Tupou Draunidalo, hopes the military will take note of the report:

"It is good for an independent body to tell the authorities that lawyers have this role to play in times of crisis, who else is to make comment, the judges can't speak because they are an independent body, so it falls on the lawyers who have sworn when they took their oath to uphold the laws of the country, It falls on us, really it is our duty as officers of the court - we are the ones who should be allowed to speak freely."

The Fiji Law Society's vice President, Tupou Draunidalo