Fiji presents its report to the UN Human Rights council in Geneva

Fiji presents its report to the UN Human Rights council in Geneva

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 30/10/2014
Fiji Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Fiji has presented its report on its human rights development to the Human Rights Council in Geneva at which a number of countries congratulated Fiji on the receptive and apolitical manner in which the delegation presented and responded to the dialogue.

In his opening statement, the Head of the Fijian Delegation - Attorney General and Minister for Justice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum outlined Fiji’s significant achievement in the promulgation of the Constitution in September 2013.

He said the constitution has a Bill of Rights which includes civil and political rights, and unprecedented social and economic rights.

The Attorney General also informed the Council that the Constitution has created substantive equality complemented by legal and policy implementation.   

Chief Justice, Anthony Gates spoke about the barriers experienced by the Judiciary in its functioning after the events of 2009, the effects of the travel ban imposed on judges and the important judicial reforms implemented by him to promote an open and equal justice system.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Christopher Pryde also explained the basis of prosecution in Fiji, the non-political nature of the decision to prosecute and the number of assault cases committed by police officers who are currently before the Courts.

The Council then broke into interactive dialogue between individual countries and the Fijian delegation.

The dialogue included a discussion on violence against women, on media freedom, on the way in which limitations in the Constitution will be read and the important inclusion of social and economic rights in the Fijian Constitution.

All countries which spoke in this dialogue congratulated Fiji on its recent elections and on its strong and progressive Constitution.

In relation to questions about the participatory process of Constitution building, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice told the Human Rights Council Working Group about the numbers of submissions received and the process of consultation which was adopted before the drafting of the Constitution.

In response to the questions about the independence of the Judiciary, the Chief Justice explained how the UN basic principles on the independence of the Judiciary had been incorporated into the Constitution.

He said that there was no evidence of any interference with Fiji’s judiciary by Government and that the Judiciary was committed to reforms.

Some countries asked about the way in which media freedom was protected under the Media Development Decree 2010 and the Constitution.

The Chair of the Media Industry Development Authority Ashwin Raj explained that the code of ethics in the Media Decree 2010 and the limitations to freedom of expression in the Bill of Rights aligns with the jurisprudence on European Court of Human Rights and that media laws in Fiji are not an exception to those practised in other jurisdictions.

Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem addressed the issue of the under reported dark figure of gender based violence and ways in which Fiji had addressed the need for victims of gender based violence to report these offences.

Fiji’s report together with a list of recommendations made by countries will be tabled at the Human Rights Council later this week.

That will be followed by a concluding speech by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.



Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
IN DEPTH
Commonwealth Games 2022
98 athletes carry the hopes of the nation to the 2022 Commonwealth Games
7 days ago

2022-2023 National Budget Debate
The 2022/2023 National Budget Debate full coverage.
13 days ago

OFC Women’s Nations Cup: Fiji Kulas
The Digicel Fiji Kulas outclassed Solomon Islands 3-1 in a physical encounter in the OFC Women’s Nations Cup and secured a spot in the grand final ...
14 days ago
FEATURE NEWS
Ulterior purpose as to why the committal proceedings were brought against Naidu – Apted
Richard Naidu’s lawyer, Jon Apted has today told the Civil High Court that they want to cross-examine Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum because t...
6 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
I complied with all requirements when making claims - Radrodro
SODELPA MP Salote Radrodro has told the High Court that she had complied with all the requirements when making Parliamentary claims. Radrodro is ...
4 hours ago

SODELPA will commend government if they do something good and will criticise when it sees something wrong
SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka says the focus for them is the revenue measures for the government and their method of collections. While responding ...
4 hours ago

No amount of blaming the Opposition will change what is happening on the ground – Prof.Prasad
No amount of blaming the Opposition will change what is happening on the ground in relation to issues affecting health, infrastructure issues ...
4 hours ago

My political opponents never tell us what they would do if, God forbid, they ever entered Govt - PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says his political opponents never tell us what they would do if, God forbid, they ever entered Government. ...
4 hours ago

Bred Bank in Fiji is having an accelerated growth
Bred Bank Fiji is celebrating its 10th year anniversary and is happy because the bank has had accelerated growth over the last 3 years. Bred Group ...
5 hours ago

TOP