27 Apr 2009

Suggestions the Fiji regime may be orchestrating delays in judicial appointments

2:08 pm on 27 April 2009

Fiji's former Vice President, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, says there could be a number of reasons for the delay the military led regime is experiencing in appointing new senior judges.

All judges were sacked two weeks ago after the abrogation of the constitution.

So far only eight magistrates have been re-appointed and only two courts are operating, in Suva and Lautoka.

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, a lawyer, says the regime is mindful of the Chandrika Prasad case which held that attempts by the military in 2000 to abrogate the constitution were invalid.

He says there could be two reasons for the delay in reappointing the judiciary.

"The first might be that they are having trouble filling the positions. The second might be that they just wish to delay that to consolidate their position. I suspect it is a bit of both."

Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, Fiji's former vice-president.