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Fiji Time: 12:59 AM on Thursday 24 April

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'Borrowed' provision

Felix Chaudhary
Friday, April 12, 2013

THE Right to Life provision in the draft constitution has been adopted from the European Union.

That was the word from the Attorney-General and Electoral Reform Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Speaking at the constitution consultations held at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka on Tuesday, the A-G said while the right to life was clearly outlined, there were circumstances where deprivation of life was also clearly explained.

"Everyone has a right to life and a person must not be arbitrarily deprived of life. In other words, we can't just go and kill anybody but it also means that the right is enforceable against the State. So just because a police officer arrests you doesn't mean he can kill you," he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum explained the section of the draft where deprivation would not be regarded.

"It shall not be regarded if inflicted in contravention with this section when it results with the use of force, which is no more than absolutely necessary in defence of a person from unlawful violence.

"There are various tests that security forces or whoever it is that kills any person needs to fulfil. Now that provision — sub-section 2 — is borrowed directly from the European Union, word for word. So we are, in fact, abiding by international standards as far as that is concerned."