26 Feb 2009

Fiji human rights commissioner says interim govt has no right to appoint judges

11:55 am on 26 February 2009

A Fiji human rights commissioner says people who believe in democracy and the rule of law should not apply for a job at the country's high court.

Fiji is looking for and advertising internationally for high court judges amid reports that the judiciary is compromised by its links to the interim government.

The chief registrar says there are currently twelve judges, but the interim government has approved 15.

Shamima Ali says the interim government has no right to appoint judges because its rule is illegal.

"When people are appointed then how they can make a difference when in Fiji at this point in time the regime does what it wants to do. And when people make decisions and their decisions are not according to how the regime thinks then they are dismissed or victimised in some way or other. We know of certain members of the judiciary to whom this has been done."

Shamima Ali, a Fiji human rights commissioner.