May 26, 2009

Ridgway says decree will kill legal profession

Filed under: General — fijiuncensored @ 19:56
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FORMER Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Peter Ridgway says the Legal Practitioners Decree which the military regime has introduced will kill the legal profession in Fiji.

Ridgway, who spent four years in Fiji and was instrumental in the conviction of key figures in the 2000 coup, told ABC Radio the restrictions on Fiji’s lawyers was “one of the most breathtaking pieces of legislations I have ever seen”.

“I mean there will always be dishonest lawyers who will probably survive under these new arrangements and possibly even prosper but for any lawyers in Fiji who retain a sense of professional dignity, they simply can’t submit to this outrageous regime that’s just been imposed on them.”

Ridgway said the lawyers who had the courage to speak out against the regime would be targeted. “There will be retributions.

“The power under this new proclamation includes the power to punish after, even if lawyers aren’t holding a practicing certificate and aren’t practicing.

“So any lawyer for example, who out of conscience chooses not to tow this new line and doesn’t renew their practicing certificate or doesn’t apply for one and therefore doesn’t submit themselves to the authority of this regime, they can still be targeted for retributive action by this new regime well after they have ceased practice.”

Ridgway left Fiji in June 2005. – fiji uncensored


Opposition politicians doubt 2014 poll pledge

Filed under: General — fijiuncensored @ 13:48
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TWO of Fiji’s opposition politicians have told Radio Australia they don’t believe the commitment made by military regime to allow a return to democratic rule in 2014.

President Ratu Josefa Iloilo had promised elections in September 2014 when he scrapped the country’s constitution on Good Friday.

Fiji’s international neighbours have criticised that date, arguing instead for elections to be held this year.

But the two politicians, Ted Young of the Soqosoqo Duvata ni Lewenivanua Party, and Pramod Rae of the National Federation Party, said they did not believe Voreqe Bainimarama’s commitment to elections in 2014.

The two are in Australia talking to academics and politicians, and were guest speakers at the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement’s march and rally on Sunday.

While Young said there had been no physical beatings or physical harassment by soldiers so far, Rae said psychological intimidation was a regular occurrence.

“Mental torture, psychological intimidation is just as bad or even worse [than physical intimidation],” Rae said. “We receive calls, telephone calls on a regular basis from senior military officers telling us they’re unhappy about what we’re saying.

“So what I’m more concerned with is the feeling I get when I receive these calls as to what the caller is feeling. Like some of these senior military officers appear to be really frightened of what might happen in Fiji if people like us continue to criticise the performance of the interim regime.”

Young said no one Fiji believed that Bainimarama would keep to his promise and have elections in 2014, a view Rae echoed.

“As to the September 2014 date, well it was Ratu Josef Iloilo himself who in written communication to us earlier on had said March 2009,” Rae said.

“Bainimarama several times said March 2009. That didn’t happen. Now they say September 2014. We are under no illusions that it will happen in September 2014.

Rae said they were afraid that by the time elections were called, the regime would have already decreed that parties like SDL and NFP were ineligible to participate.

“Because this is specifically provided for in the charter. There are provisions there to penalise political parties like ours who do not go along with the values that they are trying to create.

“They’re trying to systematically and culturally re-engineer Fiji society. And the society that they’re trying to create they obviously see no place for political parties like Mr Qarase’s SDL, Mr Young’s SDL or our NFP,” Rae said. – fiji uncensored

Fiji Club of NZ welcomes lawyers decree

Filed under: General — fijiuncensored @ 13:23
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THIS is a good move by the Fiji Government as no one professional body in any country should have the monopoly to control their patch as the consumers and taxpayers end up paying heaps and heaps for their services.

The Government ought to deregulate the accounting profession in Fiji too so that we have another complementary professional body as competition is good for consumers, taxpayers and the country.

Most Western and other countries have deregulated the accounting industry and to some extend the legal fraternity and this is a step in the right direction for others to fellow.

For example, in NZ we have the another professional accounting body called the NZ Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Fiji Club of New Zealand

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