18 Feb 2008

Fiji Law Society confused over IBA ban

2:43 pm on 18 February 2008

The Fiji Law Society says it is difficult to follow the interim attorney general's rationale as to why the International Bar Association cannot visit Fiji right now.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the visit by the IBA's human rights group would have prejudiced certain court cases and that it hadn't arranged to meet a wide enough cross-section of society.

The Society's president, Isireli Fa, says the Attorney General's concerns have no basis, given the IBA was open to meet lots of people.

And he says the timing of the visit would have been ideal.

"You know we are very very confused by it and we can't understand the logic as to why he's saying they'd be welcome in three months. You see one of the tribunals the Attorney General seems concerned about, it seems to be related to the inquiry that the interim government had put in place against the Chief Justice. Now that inquiry was adjourned last week."

Mr Fa says the Society was looking forward to the IBA's visit to independently assess Fiji's judiciary and law system.