22 Apr 2009

Lawasia advises against working for unlawful Fiji regime

5:07 pm on 22 April 2009

An Asia Pacific law association says it endorses the stance of the law societies in Fiji and New Zealand which have advised their members not to work under the unlawful regime in Fiji.

Glen Ferguson, the president of Lawasia, which represents law societies in the region, says he agrees with the view of Fiji Solicitor General Christopher Pryde that Fiji needs lawyers to restore the rule of law.

But he says it's not tenable for lawyers to take up appointments which have no tenure and are not dealt with independently from the government.

"The problem you've got with the Fiji regime at the moment, it's not accepting the democratic process and it's not accepting that the judicial officers are a separate arm of the process and I know a number of lawyers have taken positions both within the government ranks and as judicial officers since the coup but I just think it's an untenable situation."

Glen Ferguson says lawyers in the Asian region would have the same reservations about working under the interim government as their counterparts in Fiji and New Zealand.