26 May 2005

Fiji Law Society questions Reconciliation Bill in full-page newspaper advertisment

1:10 pm on 26 May 2005

The Fiji Law Society has called on the prime minister to search his conscience on his controversial Reconciliation and Unity Bill.

The call has been made in an open letter to Laisenia Qarase signed by the Society's president, Graham Leung, and published as a full-page advertisement in a local newspaper.

In the letter, Mr Leung tells Mr Qarase that he still has the chance to be remembered as a good prime minister.

He says Mr Qarase can choose to be a statesman or a politician.

Mr Leung has asked Mr Qarase to search his conscience on whether his Bill will unite the people of a wounded Fiji or divide them further.

The Law Society president says the proposed Bill poses a serious threat to the rule of law, undermines the independence of the judiciary, and may be unconstitutional.

Mr Leung has urged Mr Qarase to abandon the Bill in its present form and consult the community at large on how some of the positive ideas in the draft law can be taken forward.