PM Says No To Police Draft Bill

Bill released by Police but NOT cleared by the Solicitor General, nor brought to Cabinet for endorsement;
17 Mar 2021 11:00
PM Says No To Police Draft Bill

The Fiji Police Force had put together a document dubbed the Draft Police Bill without consulting the Government or taking its input, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama revealed to the Fiji Sun last night.

Mr Bainimarama has assured the Fijian people that the supposed draft Fiji Police Bill did not receive any approval from Government and Government was not consulted before it was released.

In a statement, Mr Bainimarama said: “I want to assure the Fijian people that the text of the so-called “Draft Fiji Police Bill” does not represent Government policy and will not be presented to Parliament.

“The draft text was drafted and released unilaterally by the Fijian Police Force. It was not cleared by the Solicitor General’s office nor was it brought to Cabinet for Government’s endorsement. It is standard practice that Government agencies consult within Government before seeking consultation from the public. I am disappointed that this process was not followed, had it been, the draft text never would have seen the light of day.

“There is a pressing need to update the 56-year-old legislation governing the Fiji Police Force in the context of new and evolving criminal threats. However, we cannot preserve public safety in the 21st Century through backwards steps that erode public trust in the Fijian Police Force. Any future amendments to the Fiji Police Act will be made available for public consultation after endorsement by Cabinet and the Solicitor General’s office to ensure that they respect the constitutional rights of every Fijian.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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