Parliament

Bill to consolidate the ‘Laws of Fiji’ tabled in Parliament

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum this morning tabled a bill in Parliament to consolidate the Laws of Fiji which has not been changed since 1985. The Attorney-General said that the consolidation of Fiji’s laws will be bringing Fiji into the modern era. SAYED-KHAYIUM: “This is where written laws are revised and […]

Staff Writers

July 6, 2016 10:38 am

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum this morning tabled a bill in Parliament to consolidate the Laws of Fiji which has not been changed since 1985.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum speaking in parliament. (Parliament of the Republic of Fiji)
Attorney General and Minister for Justice Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum speaking in parliament. (Parliament of the Republic of Fiji)

The Attorney-General said that the consolidation of Fiji’s laws will be bringing Fiji into the modern era.

SAYED-KHAYIUM: “This is where written laws are revised and consolidated. For the ordinary Fijian, reading and knowing the law is a daunting task. We need to update these laws.”

Opposition MP Hon. Niko Nawaikula said that consultations need to be done before the bill is passed in Parliament.

The AG said that the reason for bringing the consolidation of laws to Parliament was for the house to understand the process of the changing of laws.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “This is no easy task and reviewing 30-years of laws is a big task. The purpose of the bill is to revise the laws and nothing else. It is clear that this laws need to be updated and needs to be tidied up.”

The AG went on to say that the 1985 constitution did have errors and this consolidation is going to correct all errors.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We have hired people from overseas whose business is to do this and have the expertise too. We need to move along and put this in.”

The motion was agreed to with 29 MP’s voting yes, 16 voted against and 5 did not vote.

The bill will be debated in Parliament on a later date with the right of reply given to the Attorney-General.

A new layout of the Laws of Fiji will be presented to Parliament next month.

The government has invested over $1.6 million in order to consolidate the ‘Laws of Fiji’ which has not changed since 1985.

sayed-khaiyum-with-new-law-of-fiji-cover-book
Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the press conference this afternoon. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in a press conference late yesterday said the initiative had been announced in the last session of parliament.

The AG said that the new consolidation will be very easy to follow, as it is well indexed and paginated.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “It is very easy to follow, but what is also is very critcally important if for example you have a particular section which is ammended subsquently through the consiladation process, say in months time it changes, you can very easily change that by then sending you the particular page to be taken out and what needs to be inserted, so it is very easy to keep your Laws of Fiji up to date.”

A 5-member team from LexisNexis Australia is currently in the country to assist with this process.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “We have engaged LexisNexis to help with the consolidation of all the laws in Fiji since 1985.”

Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with the Executive Director-Asia Pacific, for LexisNexis Anupama Bhattacharya (next to AG) during the press conference this afternoon. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

The AG said that they had a very strict deadline to meet to present the consolidated law of Fiji to parliament next month in April.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “To those of you that might not be aware of the consolidation essentially means that all the laws that has been drafted since 1985 will now be consolidated in a particular batch…It will no longer be in black, it will be in a nice red to gain everybody’s attention.”

The new look in 'Red' to the consolidated Laws of Fiji that will be presented to Parliament next month. (Peni Shute/Newswire).
The new look ‘Red’ consolidated Laws of Fiji which will be presented to Parliament next month. (Peni Shute/Newswire)

The Executive Director- Asia Pacific Editorial OPS LexisNexis, Anupama Bhattacharya said that everyone who had been a part of the initiative felt honored to support the rule of law and to give everyone easy access to the law.

BHATTACHARYA: “We have been consolidating 30 years work of legislation and what this really means is that a piece of legislation is amended over many-many times over many years and we are putting it all together so that ever person has an access to a full consolidated current version of legislation.”

The AG said the process was important so that all Fijians have access to the full and correct version of the Laws of Fiji.

SAYED-KHAIYUM: “The consolidation is very important because it does contribute in a practical and tangible sense in helping build the rule of law. Many people in Fiji mention the rule of law without understanding what it means.”

The team from LexisNexis worked over 12 months on the project.

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