18 Sep 2013

Late constitution changes to firm up rights, says Fiji regime

3:09 pm on 18 September 2013

Fiji's Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum admits changes were made to the constitution before its final signing into power by the President.

There has been concern that the wording of land rights provisions in the constitution assented to earlier this month differed from the document released two weeks earlier.

Fiji Live reports Mr Sayed-Khaiyum says the changes only tightened already existing provisions.

There has also been concern in Fiji that indigenous land rights are not entrenched in the constitution but Mr Sayed-Khaiyum has reiterated land is protected under the constitution's Bill of Rights.

Fiji Live reports the Attorney-General also brushed off criticism the government may be allowed to change the constitution by a stroke of the pen.

The constitution allows for Fiji's president to amend the constitution on cabinet's advice up until the end of the year but the Supreme Court has to first give its approval.