CCF Says State Proceeding Decree Unwarranted, Drafted Without Due Process adn Discriminatory.

Media Release
10th February, 2012

Unwarranted State and Media Protection Decree Discriminates

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) notes that to garner confidence in the current regime, it must desist from ruling by decrees especially if they are determined and drafted without any real due process involving the views of the people and more importantly if they discriminate against the citizens.

“It is of grave concern that the State Proceedings (Amendment) Decree 2012 grants unwarranted immunity to Cabinet Ministers and the media from any legal action in any adjudicating body for broadcasting or publishing any comments by them is unjust, as it unfairly favors, and provides the privilege of protection to select members of Fiji without any recourse for justice and accountability,” stresses CCF CEO Reverend Akuila Yabaki.

The new State Proceedings amendment decree states that the current group of unelected Ministers can openly say whatever they want against any individual or organization, whether it is defamatory or not, the public and those targeted through published comments are restricted from exercising their fundamental rights, to be treated equally before the law, fair and public hearing, right to remedy by a competent tribunal and the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty and interference by the State to practice these freedoms.
With this new decree, citizens would be vulnerable to personal attacks, and unwarranted allegations.
CCF strongly believes that the same rights and privileges should be granted to members of the public to allow free and open dialogue without any fear of being held liable. CCF further calls on the government to lift the Public Order (Amendment) Decree 2012 (“POAD”) to allow the said free and fair dialogue to take place.
At a time when nationwide consultations are expected on the constitutional and electoral reforms, the new decree casts a shadow of doubt on the Bainimarama government’s confidence to deal with opposing or deflecting views which are expected during the process.
The decree could be sighted as a means to protect one side while the other is left to the mercy of the media.
“The mainstream media must now ensure that the rights of citizens are not violated through broadcasting or publishing comments from Cabinet members that are protected by this decree and that ensure ethical journalism be practiced where both sides are permitted to air their views on issues or situations and not allow room to be manipulated through personally targeted statements or comments against individuals,” says Reverend Yabaki.

 For further information please contact the communications team at CCF on
Reverend Akuila Yabaki


We deserve better! said…
What more do you need to hear? Of course this failure to accord "A Parity of Esteem" to all is signal, transparent and obvious. It is A March of Folly and the taxpayers of Fiji deserve and expect better.
Pro bono Sharing? said…
This latest decree is a perfect example of how to overplay your hand. It is completely unnecessary unless, unless there are grounds for questioning actions. These grounds will never go away by decree. They stand for all time as a testament to how human action may taint and sunder the future for us all.

A March of Folly is a march. It cannot be mitigated by decree. Self evident. Whether for better or for ill, the actions stand. They must be judged on their own merits by the people whose taxation funded them.

Or were they funded privately? By an Act of 'pro bono' generosity for us all to share the benefit?
A straw to break the camel's back?

This decree and the three week floods of 2012 in time to come will be viewed as 'The Sense of an Ending': title of Julian Barnes' novel which won the Booker Prize and the David Cohen Prize late in 2011. A Bridge Too Far in not just a literary sense but in the entire field of human affairs.
Caesar Rules said…
The political situation is not quite normal yet. A new Constitution is not in place. Caesar still rules and the people must bow to his will.What the masses can do is test how far they can go under this new decree which presumably is there in case of extreme behaviour by sections of the populace.
The destruction of Greek Business said…
Acts of 'pro bono'generosity MIGHT have included the provision of a Seiko Clock on the front of the Post Fiji building in Suva. Had they done so, things might have been different? Even those 'bearing gifts' must be given 'a once over'. "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts" - as the saying goes.

Now the Greeks have no gifts to bear. 170 businesses in Athens were burned down last night (CNN)

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