18 Apr 2009

Fiji Law Society president told he is not a member of Judicial Service Commission

8:25 am on 18 April 2009

The Fiji Law Society president is no longer a member of the Judicial Service Commission, prescribes the latest decree under Fiji's new legal order.

According to 'the Administration of Justice Decree 2009,' which re-creates Fiji's court system and a judiciary, the Judicial Service Commission will now have four members as opposed to three.

The Fiji Times reports it will now comprise of the Chief Justice, who remains as chairperson, the President of the Court of Appeal, a lawyer and a non-legal member.

Under the 1997 Constitution, the commission comprised of the Chief Justice, the society's president and the chairman of the Public Service Commission.

The new decree sets out that the lawyer appointed onto the commission is required to have more than 15 years of experience in law and the endorsement of the President.

The lawyer and the non-legal representative are "to be appointed by the President on the advice of the Attorney-General".

The commission remains involved in the appointment of judicial offices, including judges and magistrates.

The decree further restricts the jurisdiction of the courts from hearing any challenges, "including any application for a judicial review", to the President's declaration of the 1997 Constitution's abrogation.