Friday, February 08, 2008

Judicial Appointments unlawful-Law Society

Sai's Comment:
All law-abiding people know this well before so comes as no surprise that the Fiji Law Society is again reiterating this point. It all points to monumental arrogance on the part of the Illegal Interim Regime and its lackeys in the current Judiciary in Fiji. It is so sad that those we expect to display respect ultimate respect for the rule of law are in fact flouting it in such cavalier manner.

Fa says Shameem's complaint baseless - Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Update: 11.47am The Fiji Law Society says the complaint from Ombudsman and chairman of the Fiji Human Rights Commission Dr Shaista Shameem was not based on facts but full of assumptions.

Fiji Law Society president Isireli Fa said, "The letter does not contain any issue of substance but rather it deteriorates into making threats and unfounded allegations against the president of the Fiji Law Society and the Fiji Law Society in general."

He said normally the society would not respond to such a letter, however due to the misinformation it contained there was a need to question whether the Judiciary Services Commission meeting last year was lawful in its composition.

"This is an important and fundamental question for the society, the judiciary, the Interim Government and the public of Fiji," he said.

"Dr Shameem's letter focuses on petty and irrelevant issues, which are not based on facts and is really an attempt to divert attention from the real issue and muzzle the debate on it."

Mr Fa said the non-attendance by the FLS at the opening session of the Fiji Court of Appeal last week, appeared to be the catalyst for the letter of complaint by Dr Shameem against the Society.

"It seems that Dr Shameem took offence at our non appearance in support of the position taken by the interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Khaiyum," said Mr Fa.

He said there was no reason for anyone to be offended at their non appearance because the FLS had advised the judiciary by letter to the Chief Registrar that they would not attend the opening session of the Fiji Court of Appeal.

"This position is consistent with the approach that the FLS has taken since the events of the 5th December, 2006," he said.

Appeal judges opportunists -

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Update: 11.57am The Young People's Concerned Network is disappointed with the actions of the Interim Government and the acting Chief Justice Justice Anthony Gates in appointing appeals judges when their legitimacy (offices of acting CJ and interim AG) were in question before the courts.

Spokesperson for the Network Peter Waqavonovono said in their view the panel of appeals judges although experienced in their own right were opportunists and puppets of the state.

"They carry with them into the highest court in the nation questionable agendas__their Gender, Race, and Age are irrelevant and do not change the fact that they their appointments are illegal and unconstitutional," said Mr Waqavonovono.

He said the panel of Appeals Judges refused to renew and revoked their contracts after examining the conditions of illegality and the level of interference within the judiciary.

"The appointment to the bench of Fijis youngest appeals judges, first women judges, and also the first Indigenous Fijian Judge is a shame to the work of youth, womens rights and indigenous rights activists," he said.

The Judges are Nazhat Shameem, Jocelyn Scott Justice John Byrne, Daniel Gounder, Devendra Pathik and Isikeli Mataitoga.

Publish date/time: 07/02/2008
The Fiji Law Society maintains that all appointments to the judiciary after 5th December, 2006 are unlawful.

While explaining the reasons on why the society did not attend the opening of the Fiji Court of Appeal on Tuesday, Law Society President, Isireli Fa said since events of December 2006, the unlawful appointments continue and legal action has been taken to stop the process.

Fa said the society has reservations about the appointments to the Fiji Court of Appeal as these appointments were made without the participation of the Fiji Law Society at the Judicial Service Commission meeting. He said the society was not invited to these meetings and as a result had no input in these judicial appointments.

The Law Society calls on the interim government to immediately restore parliamentary democracy to allow judges of the highest caliber to sit on the bench of the Fiji Court of Appeal.

Fa has also requested the Acting Chief Justice, Anthony Gates to refrain from making any further appointments to any of the courts until the legality of the events of 2006 are determined, in particular the method of appointment of judges under the current setup of the Judicial Services Commission.

Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who opened the Fiji Court of Appeal session is expected to comment later today.

Judge should resign: PCPI
07 FEB 2008
The Pacific Centre for Public Integrity has called on High Court judge Justice Jocelynne Scutt to resign following public comments she made on a recent elections report.

Scutt, who was recently appointed to the Fiji Court of Appeal, commended the Fiji Human Rights report on the credibility of the 2006 Elections.

PCPI director Angie Heffernan says some of these matters are already before the courts.

Heffernan said the conduct of Justice Scutt is improper of a sitting High Court judge, and in essence reflects the disturbing developments within the judiciary since the December 5, 2006 military coup.

Heffernan added that Justice Scutt has compromised her position on the bench, and that the only right and honourable course of action for her is to resign.

PCPI has further called on the legal fraternity in Fiji to have the courage to defend the integrity and independence of Fiji's judiciary.

Heffernan has commended the Fiji Law Society for the stance they have taken in defending the independence of the judiciary.

When contacted, interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said he would issue a statement later.

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