25 May 2009

Fiji Law Society says licensing of lawyers now at whim of military government

6:42 am on 25 May 2009

The Fiji Law Society says the licensing of lawyers is now being at the whim of the country's military-led government.

The Society's offices were raided over the weekend following a decree removing its licensing role.

The president of the Society, Dorsami Naidu, says the move is a threat to the fearlessness of lawyers and the independence of the legal system.

Fiji's Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum, says protests are a storm in a teacup, and the reforms are designed to improve transparency and access to justice.

A spokesperson for New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, says the change is further proof the regime has no desire to restore democracy.