7 Sep 2007

Credibility of Fiji judiciary questioned

5:08 pm on 7 September 2007

The executive director of the Pacific Centre for Public Integrity, Angie Heffernan, has questioned the credibility of Fiji's judiciary in deciding on the legality of the interim regime.

Ms Heffernan says the resignation of six eminent judges from the Court of Appeal reflects very badly on the credibility of the Fiji judiciary particularly in terms of the effectiveness of its administration.

She is also concerned over the delay in the President setting up a tribunal to investigate the allegations against the suspended Chief Justice Daniel Fatiaki.

The PCPI believes such a tribunal should be sourced from outside Fiji to ensure its impartiality.

Ms Heffernan says people in Fiji should have deep concern about the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

"Even though the question of legality has not been fully addressed, appointments are still being made to the judiciary and the public really should be asking the question: How can members whose appointments are legally questionable be in a position to decide whether the regime that appointed them is a legal regime."

Angie Heffernan