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May not investigate abrogation of constitution, court decisions

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, May 18, 2009) – Fiji’s President Ratu Josefa Iloilo has promulgated the Human Rights Commission Decree 2009, under which the commission can not deal with any complaints relating to the April 10 revocation of 1997 Constitution, or investigate any decision by a court of law.

The decree states that the functions, powers and duties of the commission do not extend to receiving complaints against, or investigating, questioning or challenging, the legality or validity of the revocation of the 1997 constitution or other decrees made or as may be made by the President.

"Any proceedings of any form whatsoever, as well as any application of any form whatsoever in a proceeding, seeking to challenge the validity or legality of the Fiji Constitution Amendment Act 1997 Revocation Decree 2009 (Decree No.1) or any other Decrees made by the President from 10 April 2009 or as may be made by the President, shall wholly terminate immediately upon the commencement of this Decree, and a Certificate to that effect shall be issued by the Chief Registrar to all parties to the proceeding," the decree states.

The decree also says the functions of the Human Rights Commission are to educate the public about the nature and content of human rights, to promote and protect human rights and to make recommendations to the government about matters affecting compliance with human rights in Fiji.

"The commission must not investigate (but may comment on) any decision by a court of law," it says.

The decree is the 11th since the revocation of the 1997 Constitution last month.


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