Postdate: 15/ 04/ 2009
In these times of uncertainty, the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) advises residents that in spite of the purported abrogation of the 1997 Constitution, the other laws of Fiji still exist.
“The current interim regime is not recognising the existence of the 1997 Constitution. However, according to Chapter 15 of the 1997 Constitution, it can only be varied or replaced through the procedures outlined in that Chapter ,” CCF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rev Akuila Yabaki said.
“Last week’s Court of Appeal ruling stated that until any promulgations or decrees are tested in a court of law, people should consider them lawful and valid. CCF therefore advises citizens to respect any promulgations or decrees until they are declared invalid by a court, “Rev Yabaki said.
CCF reassures residents that their human rights continues to exist because these are guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which was proclaimed in 1948. “In order for human rights to be adequately protected, there must be a fully functioning, independent judiciary in place,” Rev Yabaki said.
CCF advises that the following human rights may not be derogated, even in a state of emergency:
- Right to Life
- Freedom from Cruel or Degrading Treatment
- Freedom from Unreasonable Searches or Seizure
- Rights of Arrested, Detained or Charged People
- Right to a Fair Trial and Access to Courts or Tribunals
- Freedom of Religion and Belief
- Right to Vote by Secret Ballot
- Right to Equality Before the Law and not to be Discriminated Against
- Right to an Education
- Protection Against Compulsory Acquisition of Property.
For further information, please contact CCF on ph: 3308379, fax: 3308380.
Rev Akuila Yabaki
Chief Executive Officer