7 Sep 2007

Fiji NGO says ensuring integrity of judiciary vital before any elections

6:07 pm on 7 September 2007

The Fiji based Pacific Centre for Public Integrity says it is critical that concerns about the integrity of Fiji's judiciary are addressed.

It says this is the most pressing issue facing the country - more so than the push for the restoration of democracy.

Executive director, Angie Heffernan, says if the judiciary is not independent or it is politically compromised, there is always the risk that an election outcome can be overturned by the courts.

"Have to have an independent effective judiciary. Because there's so much concern been raised about it, it is critical to restore public confidence in the judiciary that the President, as constitutionally appointed, establishes an immediate tribunal to look at these concerns, so we can put to rest whether or not there are real legitimate real concerns about whether our judiciary is independent or not."