28 Dec 2012

Fiji's CC urges regime to repeal some decrees

1:12 pm on 28 December 2012

The Fiji Constitution Commission, which last week submitted a draft constitution to the president, says many of the regime's decrees should be repealed.

As part of the submission process, the Commission went through each decree to determine what should happen as the country prepares to discuss the draft constitution and a return to democracy.

Don Wiseman has more:

"The Commission says some of the decrees will be for the future government to deal with. But it says some elements of some decrees are unacceptable, by which it means unconstitutional. The Commission took particular exception to the ouster clause found in many of the documents. This purports to remove the jurisdiction of the courts. It gives the example of the State Proceedings(Amendment) Decree which said the law of defamation no longer applied to the Prime Minister and others in the government and to media covering their statements. The Commission says elements of the Media Industry Development Decree, which includes stiff penalties for publishing material deemed not in the public interest, are objectionable and should be repealed or amended. It says elements of the Land Use Decree need to be immediately repealed. The Commission takes issue with a number of aspects of the Employment Relations (Amendment) Decree, saying it is objectionable on several levels, including that it violates ILO conventions."