18 Jun 2005

Australia's Law Council joins critics of Fiji's Reconciliation Bill

8:34 am on 18 June 2005

The Law Council of Australia has come out in strong opposition to the Fiji government's Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The council president, John North, says the Fiji Bill would seriously undermine the rule of law in the country.

Mr North says the amnesty provisions of the Bill would effectively abolish the convictions all those already found guilty of the coup and enable them to escape criminal responsibility for their actions.

He says no Fiji citizen should be encouraged to think that overturning a democratically elected government is acceptable or should go unpunished.

Mr North says to allow the decisions of independent courts to be reversed would completely undermine the independence of the judiciary and prosecution authorities.