5 Jan 2010

Sacked Fiji magistrates have little recourse, says former Law Society president

6:52 pm on 5 January 2010

A former Fiji Law Society president says magistrates appointed under the current regime can do little to protest against their terminations.

Isireli Fa made the comments after three recently appointed magistrates, Mary Muir, Elsie Hudson and Eparama Rokoika, were sacked.

No reason has been given for their dismissal.

The president's office says the attorney-general is the only official to comment but he has told Fiji media he won't reveal what prompted the sackings.

The three were among new appointments to the bench late last year when the judiciary was reconstituited after the former president said he had abrogated the 1997 constitution.

Mr Fa says magistrates in Fiji are very vulnerable.

"That's quite obvious that when you get appointed outside a constitutional framework, you're appointed in accordance with the wishes of the regime and they would be at liberty to terminate you if they think that you weren't performing according to their expectations. Their recourse when terminated would be quite limited."

Isireli Fa says it would be interesting to find out why the three were sacked.