21 Sep 2007

UN still awaiting invitation to send Rapporteur to study judiciary's independence

10:26 am on 21 September 2007

A United Nations official says Fiji has yet to respond to a UN request to look into the independence of the country's judiciary.

The Fiji Times quotes Valentina Milano as saying the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Leandro Despouy, wrote to the interim administration in June this year seeking an invitation.

Ms Milano says Fiji has yet to respond to that request.

The permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, Parmesh Chand, says they have yet to receive the letter from Mr Despouy.

Mr Chand says if they receive the letter, they would invite Mr Despouy as Fiji has nothing to hide.

Mr Chand says Fiji has hosted a number of a number of observer teams from the UN, the Commonwealth and the Pacific Forum who have come, observed and made constructive suggestions.

Under UN regulations, Mr Despouy can only come to Fiji at the invitation of the interim administration.