Monday, October 27, 2008

FLS to join Qarase appeal

FLS to join Qarase appeal
Sunday, October 26, 2008- www.fijitimes.com

THE Fiji Law Society wants to be the amicus curie if the ousted prime minister Laisenia Qarase appeals his case in the Fiji Court of Appeal.

FLS president Dorsami Naidu, who supported the calls that the recent High Court decision legalising the 2006 coup would undermine the rule of law, weaken parliamentary democracy and parliamentary institutions rather than strengthen them, said they wanted to be involved in the appeal.

He was responding to statements made by Suva solicitor and former FLS president Graham Leung.

Mr Leung joined panellists in Australia and expressed grave concern about the long-term ramifications of the High Court declision.

The panelists concurred this week at the National Australian University that the Fiji High Court erred in law in interpreting the President's prerogative powers as superseding the Constitution of Fiji.

Mr Leung also criticised the ousted Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua party's response to its predicament upon its removal from Government and power.

"It has made some serious strategic blunders and now finds itself on the back foot. There has been much complacency and now they are surprised that they have come out the losers".

The stakes going in to the Qarase vs Bainimarama court case were huge and the SDL underestimated this, he said.

"Now they have to live with the consequences. And it is hurting them. More importantly, it is hurting Fiji. It is hard to say how much more bruising body blows the Constitution can put up with", Mr Leung said.

Mr Qarase said they hoped to lodge their appeal before the end of the month but declined to comment on the issues raised by Mr Leung.

He added that they would be looking for a new Queen's Counsel as Nye Perram had been appointed judge to the Federal Courts of Australia.

But Nationalist Tako Lavo Party leader Iliesa Duvuloco said the fight was not over yet as the SDL would appeal their case and that everyone hoped justice would one day prevail.

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