6 Feb 2006

Fiji Law Society believes government more willing now to consult over Reconciliation bill

4:49 pm on 6 February 2006

Fiji's controversial Reconciliation and Unity bill is unlikely to be back before parliament any time soon.

The government was expected to present its amendments this month but it is continuing consultation about changes needed to the bill after the original version was criticised as being unconstitutional in parts.

A review by the International Bar Association found that there's a lack of restitution for victims of the 2000 coup, it's not clear what kind of crimes amnesty would be granted for, and the bill has not reconciled but divided the country.

The president of the Fiji Law Society, Graham Leung, says however, that there now seem to be a willingness by the government to listen to a greater number of voices on the issue.

"My sense of the mood in terms of what is happening is that there doesn't now seem to be a great rush to take this forward. And, the government is intent on consulting more widely with all parties."

Graham Leung