23 Jul 2007

Former Fiji Law Society President says the rule of law has been raped in Fiji

9:40 am on 23 July 2007

The Fiji Law Society's annual convention has been told that the rule of law has been raped in Fiji and the judiciary tinkered with.

The comment came from a former president of the society, Graham Leung.

Mr Leung says the judiciary had taken hard knocks after the 2000 and 2006 coups and long shadows have been cast on its collective reputation, independence and probity.

He says since May 2000 collegiality among judges of the High Court has been more apparent than real

Mr Leung said personal differences and factionalism, although not openly articulated, were nonetheless rancorous and left the court vulnerable and exposed.

He said to restore its collective reputation, credibility and self-respect may require the entire bench of Fiji's superior courts to be replaced over time.

Mr Leung says this would allow Fiji to have new judges unaligned with the past and carrying none of the baggage associated with the internecine rivalry that exists in the corridors of the judiciary.