12 May 2009

Rumours in Fiji that interim govt may take control of licensing lawyers says Fiji lawyer

11:06 am on 12 May 2009

The independence of the legal system in Fiji could be further undermined if the interim regime takes control of the licensing of lawyers.

That's the view of Fiji lawyer, Graham Leung who says there are rumours the Fiji Law Society could soon lose its current role of licensing lawyers.

Fiji's interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has so far declined to comment on suggestions from the Law Society's President, Dorsami Naidu that the regime was about to take action against it.

But Graham Leung says if the interim regime takes responsibility for licencing lawyers there will be even less opportunity to seek legal redress against government decisions.

"It would narrow the opportunity for challenging actions by the regime in terms of human rights or in terms of civil or commercial dealings with the regime. You are going to see far fewer people willing to stand up for fear of political recrimination."

Graham Leung says lawyers who are opposed to the regime could be sidelined even further.