Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ratu Joni Joins Ghai Commission


 Fiji Times News - 26 october 2012

THE Constitution Commission says the addition of Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi (left) as a consultant will give it legal expertise.

Prof Yash Ghai also clarified that comments in yesterday's edition of The Fiji Times had come from him and not Constitution Commission executive secretary Keshwa Reddy.

Speaking on the nature of Ratu Joni's work with the commission, Prof Ghai said his legal expertise was needed for the commission to be well informed.

"There is no lawyer among Fijian members of the commission. It is necessary for the commission to be well informed of the structure of courts, legal, judicial system and laws," Prof Ghai said. "Ratu Joni has knowledge and experience of law in many capacities, particularly as a lawyer and a judge and as a vice president. "His knowledge and sensitivity to the iTaukei is well-known as is his commitment to a multi-cultural Fiji."

Speaking on the issue of Ratu Joni having presented a submission to the commission about declaring Fiji a Christian State, Prof Ghai said it was false to conclude Ratu Joni was in favour of a Christian State.

"On State and church, it is false to conclude that he is in favour of a Christian State just because he was with the delegation from Bau. "The views were those of the villagers, as was explained, not necessarily his. "And even if he took that view, he is an adviser, not a decision-maker. The commission would benefit from a reasoned defence of Christian State."

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