23 Apr 2009

No legal avenue left to restore Fiji constitution, says academic

1:14 pm on 23 April 2009

A lawyer who helped successfully argue that Fiji's constitution could not be abrogated in 2001 says there is no legal avenue left to challenge the latest abrogation.

Professor George Williams from the University of New South Wales, appeared in the Chandrika Prasad case.

He says that case was exceptional because the coup government and Commodore Frank Bainimarama obeyed the Court of Appeal's ruling that the constitution could not be abrogated.

He says there has been a fundamentally different response to the latest Court of Appeal ruling that the constitution can't be abrogated and that democracy must be restored.

"2001 there was prepared to be respect for the rule of law. That has its limits and if the military really wants to take control as it does in this case, well, it's prepared to take that further step and have a coup that clearly does not have any legality or any basis within law to support it."

Professor Williams says the government has now abrogated the old legal system and the situation can only be resolved by diplomacy and the people of Fiji.