13 Sep 2007

New Zealand lawyers rubbish report on events in Fiji on December 5th

10:14 am on 13 September 2007

Three New Zealand lawyers say the Fiji Human Rights Commission's report on the events of December 5th does not deserve to be taken seriously.

The Fiji Times reports that this is the view of the former New Zealand prime minister and constitutional lawyer, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Alison Quentin-Baxter who was the senior counsel in the Reeves Commission which drew up the 1997 Constitution and Helen Aikman, a Queens Counsel and law commissioner who was educated and worked in Fiji.

All three say they dismiss the report as to its facts and its analysis of the law.

They say the report is an attempt to provide a legal justification for the unlawful usurpation of power.

They say their concern is that this report may be taken seriously in some quarters when it does not deserve to be.

They say its reasoning is flawed and its opinion in conflict with the constitution of Fiji.

The lawyers say it is for the courts to determine the legality under the Constitution of the actions of December 5th and not the Fiji Human Rights Commission.