4 Mar 2009

Fiji courts called on to look again at its legitimising of the interim Government

5:04 pm on 4 March 2009

An academic paper published today says Fiji's courts must revisit the decision to legitimise the interim government if the country is to move forward.

Last October, Fiji's High Court ruled that the President's appointment of an interim cabinet in January 2007 was valid and lawful.

The ousted prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, is appealing that decision.

One of the authors of the paper, Courts and Coups in Fiji: The 2008 High Court Judgment in the Quarase versus Bainimarama Case", is Australian National University academic Jon Fraenkel.

He says the paper puts the case into context.

"For Fiji to ever develop a stable constitutional democracy this judgement will have to be revisited. There's no way it can stand as such, because it effectively overturns the constitution and transforms Fiji into a presidential system, which is not the intention of the constitution makers back in 1997."

Jon Fraenkel.

The other authors are former chair of the Fiji Law Society, Graham Leung, and Australian academics Anthony Regan, and George Williams.