20 Nov 2012

Fiji police force calls for independence safeguards in new constitution

1:06 pm on 20 November 2012

Fiji's Police Force has recommended constitutional changes which protect it from political interference.

The suggestions come in the Force's submission to Fiji's Constitution Commission which is drafting the country's new constitution.

Sally Round reports.

"The Police Force wants to see its independence strengthened and more protection from political lobbying, favouritism and political bias. It says the police force in the past has been easily subjected to such pressure during elections and political crises. The force recommends its Commissioner continue to be appointed by the country's President but in consultation with an independent Constitutional Offices Commission. Recommendations include boosting the police chief's powers to advise the President in a state of emergency and enshrining in the constitution the role of the commissioner in promoting respect for the rule of law. The force also wants the Bill of Rights under the 1997 constitution to be generally included in the new document."