11 May 2009

Fears in Fiji that regime about to take responsibilities from Law Society

7:35 pm on 11 May 2009

There are fears in Fiji that the interim government could be about to take over the licensing of lawyers from the Fiji Law Society.

Last week the Law Society's president, Dorsami Naidu, said he believed the interim regime was about to take action against the Society because criticism from its lawyers was a huge irritant.

The interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has so far declined to comment on the claims.

But Fiji lawyer, Graham Leung, says there are now rumours that responsibility for licensing lawyers could be taken from the Law Society.

He says this could politicise the licensing system.

"The next step further down the track could be that persons deemed to be critics and detractors of the regime might be excluded from holding practising certificates. It's obviously with a view to silencing dissent"

Graham Leung says the move would further undermine the independence of the legal system in Fiji.