Revised Consolidated Laws Launched

After a lapse of 31 years, Fijian laws have been consolidated and now updated laws are available in 20 volumes. These volumes- the revised edition of the laws of Fiji,
10 Dec 2016 11:09
Revised Consolidated  Laws Launched
From left:Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, President, Major General (retired) Jioji Konousi Konrote, Speaker of the Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni,former President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau and Chief Justice Anthony Gates, with the revised editions of the Laws of Fiji at the 18th Attorney General's Conference at InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa in Natadola yesterday. Photo:ARISHMA DEVI-NARAYAN

After a lapse of 31 years, Fijian laws have been consolidated and now updated laws are available in 20 volumes.

These volumes- the revised edition of the laws of Fiji, were launched yesterday at the Attorney-General’s Conference at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, Natadola.

Law revision is the process where written laws are updated and consolidated, meaning all the written laws, including their subsequent amendments are revised,  consolidated, and published into volumes of laws.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said: “The lack of consolidated laws for the last 31 years has resulted in time-consuming legal research, incorrect referencing of laws and incorrect legal analysis.

“But the availability of the revised laws is not just for the benefit of the legal fraternity. It is for all Fijians.”

He said that for the ordinary Fijian, reading and knowing the law is a daunting task if there was poor accessibility to the law given the myriad of amendments that have been made to the laws over the past three decades.

“Now, with the publication of the revised edition, it is no longer necessary to track back 30 years’ worth of amending laws to determine the current applicable law.

“Accordingly, the publication of the revised edition of the Laws of Fiji aligns with the Fijian Government’s objective to provide equality and substantive justice for all Fijians by providing access to the law in the consolidated format for the first time in over 31 years.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the revised edition of the Laws creates transparency and is a step towards the promotion of the rule of law in Fiji, in fact embedding it.

“This will promote the accountability of public officers and aid in the eradication of systemic corruption.

“It will also facilitate the ease of doing business in Fiji and boost investor confidence by providing clarity to both domestic and foreign investors of the status of the law in Fiji.

“By making these laws available, investors both foreign and local investors – and individual Fijians will be able to read the laws themselves and will not necessarily have to go to, perhaps, an expensive lawyer to find out the law.”

The revised edition of the Laws of Fiji has been prepared under the authority of the revised edition of the Laws Act 1971 and the consolidated laws contained in the revised edition are deemed to be part of the proper law of Fiji from today.

It includes all 2016 Acts of Parliament and subsidiary legislation as at December 1, 2016, subject to certain omitted laws that are no longer applied in Fiji today.

It also includes, all regulations and even by-laws of the different municipalities in Fiji.

A number of amendments to the law have been made this year to make this publication possible.

“The amendments in the February sitting of Parliament to the revised edition of the Laws of Fiji Act have modernised the revised edition and facilitated for the first time in Fiji, the loose-leaf format of the publication.

“This will allow for amendments to a law to be incorporated regularly without the need to reprint the entire law.”

In the last consolidation of laws in 1985, there were 14 volumes of laws. This consolidation has 20 volumes with a total of 360 principal laws. There are 32,216 pages across the 20 volumes.

The oldest law in the publication is the High Court Act of 1875. The newest principal law is the Shop (Regulation of Hours) Act 2016.

“For this initiative, we have partnered with global legal publisher, LexisNexis from Australia, to produce a publication that is modern and in line with international best practice.

“On behalf of the Fijian Government, I sincerely thank the LexisNexis team in Australia for assisting Fiji with this publication and making it a reality.

“Myfanwy Wallwork is here with us too and I’d like to thank you very much for your contribution.

“The LexisNexis loose-leaf format will facilitate the updating of the revised edition on a more frequent basis.” she said.

Edited by Maraia Vula


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