30 Sep 2013

Fijian academic warns country's constitution could destabilise system

8:45 pm on 30 September 2013

A New Zealand-based Fiji academic says Fiji's new constitution gives the Prime Minister and Attorney-General excessive power over the judicial system.

Dr Steven Ratuva's comments come after the release of the Citizen's Constitutional Forum's analysis of the constitution earlier this month.

The group engaged constitutional law experts and the resulting 60-page report includes criticism that the constitution allows the Government to make political appointments.

Dr Ratuva, from the University of Auckland, says that means the independence of the judiciary will be significantly compromised.

"The judiciary is supposed to be one of the pillars of a transparent and just society in a new democracy and once you have political influence on how it functions then it will destabilise the system."

Dr Steven Ratuva from the University of Auckland's Centre for Pacific Studies.