11 May 2005

Fiji government defends privacy right in planned reconciliation hearings

8:15 pm on 11 May 2005

The Fiji Government says people who opt to take their cases to the yet-to-be-established Reconciliation and Unity Commission have a right to be heard in private.

There's criticism in Fiji over the plan for the new commission to be able to hold in-camera meetings.

But the Attorney-General, Qoriniasi Bale, says some applicants to the commission, once established, would probably prefer to speak in private and that right should be respected.

"It's a matter of justice. Justice becomes a very relative term in our kind of situation, so we are going to leave that discretion to the tribunal or the commission or any of its relevant committees. They have to exercise that discretion wisely. You have competing interests between the public as a whole and the privacy rights."

The Fiji Attorney-General, Qoriniasi Bale.