By Hayley J. Campbell
Impunity Watch Senior Desk Officer, Oceania
SUVA, Fiji – For the next month, the Fiji High Court will not hear any government cases says Fiji’s Solicitor General, Christopher Pryde.
Mr. Pryde says that, due to Presidential decree, certain cases can no longer be challenged in court.
“The existence of the decrees won’t be capable of being challenged in the courts, for example the first decree was the abrogation of the constitution and that can’t be challenged in court,” Mr. Pryde said.
On April 10th, Fiji’s President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, abrogated Fiji’s constitution and dismissed judicial members. There has been growing concern over the new court system’s independence.
Mr. Pryde, a New Zealand lawyer, lost his position after the abrogation of the Constitution. He has retaken the position of Solicitor General because he says it allows him to function more as a public servant and less as a politician.
For more information, please see:
Radio New Zealand International – No government cases to go before Fiji High Court for another month – 26 April 2009
Fijilive – Fiji courts take shape today – 20 April 2009