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Public participation and Constitution-making in Fiji: A Critique of the 2012 Constitution-making Process in Fiji

Kant, Romitesh and Rakuita, Eroni (2014) Public participation and Constitution-making in Fiji: A Critique of the 2012 Constitution-making Process in Fiji. [Conference Proceedings] (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    On July 1st 2009, the Bainimarama regime announced a Roadmap for Democracy that promised a transition to parliamentary democratic rule by September 2014 (Ministry of National Planning, 2009). An important part of this Roadmap, according to the same announcement, was the plans for a constitution making process that would provide a “solid foundation and framework for the rebuilding of our nation is critical for Fiji”. To ensure national ownership of the Constitution, the regime promised a participatory constitution making process that would involve political parties, the private sector, civil society, non-government organizations, and citizens of Fiji. The general aim of this paper is to critically examine the 2012 constitution making process in Fiji focusing on the principle of participation and how it was translated into practice. This was one of the central guiding principles of the Commission and more importantly this principle is now judged as a universal tenet of constitution making. While literature clearly shows the possibilities of constitution-making processes in transition from conflict and in post-conflict societies, experience of the 2012 constitution-making process in Fiji will highlight the inherent difficulties in such processes in situations of tightly controlled military regimes. This paper is divided into four main parts. Firstly, the paper will lay out a brief theoretical framework for participation that would be used to analyze the findings. The second part presents a short overview of the history of constitution-making in Fiji while the third part will provide a brief insight into the 2012 process and finally the paper will discuss the 2012 constitution-making process and present an analysis of how principle of participation was manifested.

    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Constitution, Constitution making, public participation, Fiji, Politics
    Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
    Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Government, Development and International Affairs
    Depositing User: Romitesh Kant
    Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2015 10:27
    Last Modified: 10 May 2016 11:10
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/7707

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