7 Jun 2007

Fiji lawyer says interim administration avoiding any court scrutiny of its actions

9:58 am on 7 June 2007

The Suva High Court has heard a claim that Fiji's interim administration has no intention of having its actions scrutinised by the courts.

The Fijilive news website reports that this submission was made Dr John Cameron, the lawyer for the human rights activist Angie Heffernan.

Dr Cameron's claim referred to a stay order granted to the military by an Appeal Court judge, Justice John Byrne, on Monday.

Ms Heffernan is taking action against the military for restricting her movements and freedom of speech following the December military takeover.

Dr Cameron told the High Court that the military's application to the Court of Appeal was an abuse of process and should have been refused because it had no jurisdiction to stay the hearing of Ms Heffernan's case.

Dr Cameron also questioned the appropriateness of appointing Justice Byrne to adjudicate in the Court of Appeal, saying the appointment was not in accordance with Fiji's constitution and therefore invalid.

Dr Cameron will ask the Appeal Court to throw out the stay order when it meets on June 11th.