Fiji Labour Party views with deep concern the sacking of three magistrates without any explanations given for their removal from office.
According to media reports neither the President’s office nor the interim Attorney General is willing to explain why the terminations were necessary.
In the absence of any explanation, the arbitrary sackings can only be seen as interference with the judiciary. It renders hollow assurances given by the interim government to the people of Fiji and the international community on the independence of the judiciary.
The sackings also raise serious questions about the absence of transparency and accountability in matters relating to the judiciary.
Under Decree 9 of 2009, the magistrates are to be initially appointed by the President. The Judicial Service Commission is to takeover this function thereafter but it will only become functional when so directed by the President. It is not known whether the JSC had any say in the termination orders.
The FLP reiterates its call for the need to repeal certain provisions of Decree 9 (Administration of Justice Decree 2009). The independence of our judiciary remains seriously compromised under the Decree.