26 Nov 2008

Fiji regime again rebuffs International Bar Association

1:10 pm on 26 November 2008

For the second time this year, the interim Fiji Government has come out strongly against a review of the rule of law by the International Bar Association, the IBA.

The IBA is scheduled to conduct an in-country review of the rule of law next month.

But in a letter received by the IBA this week, the interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says the interim Government does not welcome or approve the delegation's visit and would take appropriate steps if it attempts to visit Fiji.

The banned delegation included senior jurists from Australia and Malaysia who were scheduled to meet with judges and members of the legal profession.

The same delegation was prevented from entering Fiji in February when the interim Fiji government issued an immigration stop order.

In a statement, the IBA says it is disappointed the interim regime is not supportive of independent reviews of the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.

It says it is also troubled by this latest attempt to thwart the efforts of a non-political professional association to assess the situation.

But it says it will still carry out the review using other avenues.