Constitution Commission chair, Professor Yash Ghai has welcomed the new decrees put in place by the Fiji government saying it gives the public and the commission greater clarity on the process.
“The decree is essential for the commencement of our work and we are glad that the government has responded,” he said.
He however raised concerns on the decree concerning the Commission saying it is neither easy nor desirable to fragment the process in different institutions, time periods because they have to look at the process as a whole.
“Every part of the process has to reinforce the principle of participation, democracy and transparency and if one element of the process is good and the other one is not than the overall process is not democratic,” he said.
Hence, he said it was important to see the work of the commission in relation to the work of the assembly, the work of the President and the method which is provided in the decree for the actual adoption of the constitution
“As people read the decree they also have to look at the other decree to get the real sense of the process,” he said.
The new decree known as Fiji Constituent Process (Constitution Assembly and Adoption of Constitution) Decree 2012 ensures that the draft constitution inculcates provisions such as the non-negotiable principles while the other decree government has suspended section 8 of the Public Order Amendment Decree (POAD) 2012 until the assembly submits the constitution draft to the President of Fiji.
Section 8 of the POAD stipulates that everyone needs to apply for a permit to conduct public meetings.
By Mereani Gonedua