23 Aug 2013

Fijian academic says he is surprised at constitution changes

10:43 am on 23 August 2013

A Fijian academic says he is surprised at the new constitution released by the regime yesterday and says it's more like the independent draft it dumped in January.

Dr Steven Ratuva, from the University of Auckland, says the extra provisions in the bill of rights and the reference to land rights and culture in the preamble is a good move.

He says the previous independent process was undermined by the Government and there are many criticisms of how it has gone about finalising the country's supreme law.

But he says there are positive changes.

"It was surprising because the previous document was pretty rigid, pretty restrictive and it was as if they were giving themselves jobs, the job of Prime Minister, the job of the Attorney-General. It was almost as if they were personalised for particular individuals. This time around it's much more in tune with some of the more liberal constitutions around the world"

Dr Steven Ratuva from the University of Auckland.