22 Mar 2013

New Fiji constitution draft labelled regressive on human rights

3:12 pm on 22 March 2013

A former member of Fiji's Constitution Commission says the Government's new draft constitution is regressive when it comes to human rights.

The new draft, which emerged from the Solicitor-General's office and was released last night, features a long Bill of Rights, but with many exceptions, and a broad power for the Government to declare a State of Emergency.

Peni Moore, one of the group of five that carried out an extensive public consultation process last year says they tried to bring the Bill of Rights up to date with the rest of the world, and it's disappointing that the Government has scrapped that for an old-fashioned approach.

"It just shows a lack of international knowledge because internationally, constitutions are moving away from this form of restricting rights rather that all rights should be given and you should contest to see what should be restricted and really disappointing that they have not gone with the one we put forward."

A former member of Fiji's Constitution Commission Peni Moore.