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What of Prerogative Powers in Fiji?

Sharma, Navneel (2023) What of Prerogative Powers in Fiji? [Conference Proceedings]

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Abstract

Fiji was ceded to Great Britain in 1879. It gained its independence in 1970. Independence was achieved in Fiji through a concerted effort of persons such as Ambalal Dahyabhai (AD) Patel, Siddiq Moidin Koya, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, and the intrepid members of the Legislative Council who rallied as one to the cause. The unanimous Fiji High Court ruling in Qarase v Bainimarama on 9 October 2008 was seen by many as a major disappointment. It held that the 1997 Fijian Constitution would accommodate extraordinary undemocratic acts without itself being compromised. Such prerogative powers in that instance allowed for the dismissal of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the subsequent dissolving of Parliament. It essentially supported the stance of a power reminiscent of the authority held by the English monarchs of centuries past. However, upon appeal to the Fiji Court of Appeal, it was declared that the dismissal of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and the dissolving of Parliament was illegal under the Fijian Constitution. Unfortunately, the very next day the Constitution was abrogated. A short victory nonetheless. The paper discusses the reasoning of both the High Court and the Court of Appeal with specific focus on the issue of constitutional supremacy and national sovereignty (post-colonialism) in the context of Fiji’s struggle for independence in pursuit for autonomy and self-determination.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: School of Law and Social Sciences (SoLaSS)
Depositing User: Navneel Sharma
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2023 00:12
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 00:12
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/14152
UNSPECIFIED

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