Professor Yash Ghai has reassured the Fiji public that his Constitution Commission will listen to all the submissions being made, and presumably incorporate “what the people want” into their final Report.
But if that is all that they end up doing, then Fiji may as well buy a cheap tape-recorder and hire a good editor.
Luckily, for Professor Yash Ghai and Professor Christina Murray to safeguard their international reputation as constitution lawyers, they need to also ensure that their set of recommendations maintains the letter and spirit of Fiji law.
To achieve that, the Ghai Commission faces several dilemma.
First, Ghai and Murray at least will know that the most authoritative Fiji courts have concluded that the 1997 Constitution cannot be abrogated by the President, the Military, or merely replaced by anyone, including some “Constituent Assembly” established by “usurpers” (using the words of Anthony Gates- see below).
The second dilemma is that while Fiji’s political leaders insist that the 1997 Constitution must be retained (with amendments if necessary), Bainimarama keeps undermining the independence of the Ghai Commission by insisting that the 1997 Constitution will not be revisited.
Luckily, the Ghai Commission only needs to point to the Regime’s insistence that all future governments must be guided by the People’s Charter (which was allegedly approved by more than 80 percent. of all people in Fiji over the age of 18 i.e. virtually a referendum), and the first clause of the Charter states clearly “We the People of Fiji Affirm that our Constitution represents the supreme law of our country, that it provides the framework for the conduct of government and the people”.http://intelligentsiya.blogspot.co.nz/