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Fiji Time: 2:27 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Immunity 'critical'

Margaret Wise
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

THE provision of immunity in the draft constitution was not a new concept, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

"It is not unique to Fiji," he said while addressing the topic 'Constitution and Constitutionalism' at the 14th Attorney-General's Conference held last week at the InterContinental Fiji in Natadola.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the provision of immunity was "critical" in a move from an apartheid system to democratic rule.

"It has to be there," he stressed as he pointed out that this clause was included in South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as Fiji's 1990 Constitution.

He said social amnesia contributed to its inclusion in the 1997 Constitution and "these are the realities that we have in Fiji". Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also noted that the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua government had the Reconciliation Bill that allowed for a "group of unelected tribunal members to stop the DPP or police" from carrying out investigations.

"The same parliament that allowed for police to carry out investigations is undermining police in carrying out their work," he said.