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Legal Practitioners Amendment Bill which seeks to change the composition of the Board of Legal Education to be debated this Thursday

Legal Practitioners Amendment Bill which seeks to change the composition of the Board of Legal Education to be debated this Thursday

By Dhanjay Deo
Tuesday 26/05/2020
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

The debate on the Legal Practitioners Amendment Bill 2020 will take place this Thursday.

Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the bill seeks to amend the existing act which is the composition of the Board of Legal Education.

The Board of Legal Education currently consists of the Solicitor General, the Dean of the School of the Faculty of Law at the USP, the Chief Justice, the Chief Registrar of the High Court of Fiji, the Dean appointed by the Attorney General of the Faculty of Law of the University of Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand and a person having legal qualification appointed by the Attorney General who shall be the Board’s Chairperson.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the composition of the board is somewhat odd.

He says it provides for the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the USP to be member of the Board but does not take into account the fact that there are other Universities in Fiji who also have faculties of law that also provide law programs and courses to tertiary students and whose Deans may also be appropriate members of the Board.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the bill also seeks to amend the existing act by removing the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the USP, the Dean appointed by the Attorney General of the Faculty of Law of Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand and replacing them with two members to be appointed by the Attorney General.

He says the proposed amendment will allow the Attorney General to extend appointments to the Board to any person including the Deans of Faculties of Laws of Universities in Fiji or any other country.

The Bill also seeks to allow only the Chief Justice, Solicitor General and the Registrar to delegate a person to the Board.

Sayed-Khaiyum says they need to have these amendments done as they need to appoint a new set of members of the Board of Legal Education.

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