November 27, 2012

Commission expected to finish draft constitution before Christmas

Publish date/time: 27/11/2012 [17:07]

The Constitution Commission is expected to wrap up its work after it finishes with the draft constitution before Christmas.

According to the Constitution Commission Decree, the commission is expected to hand the draft to the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau in early January.

The next process then takes place where a Constituent Assembly deliberates on the document.

Members of the assembly will be appointed by the Prime Minister.

The decree states that the composition of the assembly shall reflect the diversity of the people of Fiji and include but not limited to the government, registered political parties, faith based organizations, employers representatives, trade unions, farmers and members of the rural community, the military, national organizations, women, persons with disability, youth, pensioners and other civil society groups.

After the Assembly adopts the draft constitution, the document will be forwarded to a tribunal which will consider whether the immunity provisions and other matters are contained in the draft. 

If the draft does not comply with the stated principles in the decree, then it will be referred to the President and back to the assembly for necessary amendments.

The decree states that upon receipt of the draft constitution and the report of the tribunal, the Constituent Assembly shall, within seven days, make the necessary amendments in accordance with the report of the tribunal and shall present draft constitution back to the President.

The new constitution for Fiji shall come into effect on the day following the date of assent by the President, subject to any provision in the constitution that postpones the coming into effect of any aspect of the new constitution.

The work of the Constituent Assembly is expected to be completed by late March 2013.

Story by: Vijay Narayan

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