18 Mar 2008

Fiji constitution allows for review of Presidential decisions, High Court told

8:39 pm on 18 March 2008

The Suva High Court, hearing the case challenging the legality of the 2006 Fiji coup, has been told that the judiciary can review decisions by the executive branch of government.

During her appearance, Proceedings commissioner and amicus of the court, Dr Shaista Shameem compared the provisions for review in the 1990 and 1997 constitutions.

The Lawyer for Fiji's interim government argue that the situation in December 2006 leading up to the coup demanded that the president act under his reserved powers.

Guy Reynolds QC made the statement in his closing submissions in the case brought by ousted PM Laisenia Qarase on the overthrow of his government.

Our correspondent Matelita Ragogo says Mr Reynolds has told the court that it has no jurisdiction to look at the decisions by the President.

"Now that was provided for in the 1990 constitution but in the 1997 constitution that has been removed. And the '97 constitution says that yes the constitution is supreme, therefore the separatin of powers come into play which basically means the judiciary can actually look at decisions made in the executive branch of government."

Matelita Ragogo reporting from Suva.