8 Jan 2007

Fiji Law Society seeking legal opinion on latest Human Rights report

4:20 pm on 8 January 2007

The Fiji Law Society is seeking a legal opinion on the Fiji Human Rights Commission report last week, which appeared to justify the December 5 coup that deposed the Lasienia Qarase-led government.

The Law Society president Devanesh Sharma said he was concerned with the timing of the report and said that the opinion given by FHRC director Dr Shaista Shameem was not necessarily legally correct.

Dr Shameem, who penned the human rights report, said the 2001 and 2006 polls were unconstitutional, since the Appeals Court ruled in the Chandrika Prasad case that the Mahendra Chaudhry-led People's Coalition government was the legitimate one and should have been returned to power.

Fiji Live reports Mr Sharma saying it is not for any other legal practitioner to determine the legality of the 2001 or 2006 elections except for the courts.

He said since no Court had declared the elections to be invalid or illegal, they remained lawful.