NZLS raises concerns about Fijian lawyer

by Samantha Woodhill14 Dec 2015
The New Zealand Law Society and the Fiji Law Society have come together and called for a greater respect for the rule of law after a Fijian lawyer claimed that he and his colleagues had been threatened.

Mr Ravindra-Singh has also alleged that people close to him have been attacked as he is currently representing parties who have been accused of sedition. Some of the accused have allegedly attempted to establish a sovereign Christian state in Fiji while others are claimed to have participated in a paramilitary style group.

When speaking about Ravindra-Singh’s claims, the New Zealand Law Society President, Chris Moore, urged all parties to do the right thing.

“The allegations are serious and we must be mindful that the rule of law and rights of all Fijian citizens are protected, whether that's equality before the law, the right to have representation, freedom of speech and human rights protection,” he said in a statement.

He stressed that any sort of intimidation towards lawyers is unacceptable no matter how unpopular the cause and that the safety of all lawyers in Fiji is of the utmost importance.

“The New Zealand Law Society welcomes acting Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho's assurance that police will investigate Mr Ravindra-Singh's claims. It is very important that the police and government are seen to be actively supporting the rule of law.”

He also commended other Fijian initiatives such as the parliament’s unanimous agreement to ratify the UN Convention Against Torture as providing excellent examples about upholding the rule of law.