7 Mar 2012

Fiji's DPP invites British law group back to give 'balance'

2:05 pm on 7 March 2012

Fiji's Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, has invited the head of a British lawyers' group back to Fiji to get a more balanced picture of the Fiji legal system.

The Law Society Charity has published a damning report of the system after its head, Nigel Dodds, conducted research on a private visit last year.

Mr Dodds says he interviewed a wide range of people including lawyers, former judges, prosecutors, and civil society groups.

Mr Pryde says Mr Dodds did not speak to any of the main stakeholders in the Fiji judicial system like himself, the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and the Chief Registrar.

"None of these people were approached and in fact we weren't even given an opportunity to respond or to comment on the report before it was being published. That's just a basic expectation that you'd have if the report is going to be balanced and transparent."

Fiji's Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde.

Mr Dodds says he was advised not to talk to officials in the interim government as the censored media might portray the visit as endorsement of the interim regime.