Concern Regarding Expedited Passage Of Two Acts In Fiji
19 February 2021
The South Pacific Lawyers’ Association has released a statement following the passage of the High Court (Amendment) Act 2021 and the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2021 in Fiji by expedited legislative process. This statement was released in response to a request for assistance from Fiji Law Society, and was drafted in collaboration with South Pacific counterpart jurisdictions.
This legislation has potentially significant implications, particularly the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 2021 which abolishes Fiji’s assessor system – comparable to a jury. Without expressing an opinion on the merits of either Act, the statement does consider that any proposal to effect such changes to fundamental features of Fiji’s criminal justice system must be carefully and thoroughly considered by Parliament following an open and meaningful public consultation process.