The Dodds Report: the Official Response and the Full Document

Official statment on the Dodds Report   
 British Lawyer Dishonest on Fiji Justice System

Christopher Pryde
Nigel Dodds, the Chairman of an obscure British NGO, Law Society Charity, has publicly spread false, outrageous and inflammatory allegations against the Fijian judicial system. The intellectually dishonest allegations follow a private visit to Fiji by Mr. Dodds in November of 2011, during which he claims to have interviewed many attorneys, judges and opposition politicians.

Mr. Dodds spent approximately four days in Fiji. Four months later, he is making an undisguised attempt to draw publicity for himself and his group as a supposed expert on Fiji’s judicial system.

Mr. Dodds never contacted the Director of Public Prosecutions or any other government official for his “report”.

“The failure to solicit any opinion from people actively engaged with the Fijian legal system strongly suggests that Mr Dodds and his organisation are either being used by certain disgruntled people in Fiji to promote a political agenda or are being deliberately obtuse.  Either way, the report is intellectually dishonest and does their organisation no credit.” said Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Christopher Pryde”

In an online critique of the report, one analyst asked, “Is this genuine charitable work? Or subcontracted political advocacy? There is little of professionalism here.”

The report, which Dodds did not provide to the Fijian government, makes racist allegations against The Office of Public Prosecutions.

Mr. Pryde said, “Mr Dodds seems to have a problem with Sri Lankan lawyers. The DPP’s Office recruits staff on the basis of merit, and is not concerned with a lawyer’s ethnic background but with their professionalism and integrity.”

Pryde added, “The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in an independent office and the Director of Public Prosecutions has the sole responsibility for criminal prosecutions in Fiji. This is without recourse to any Government minister, including the Attorney-General. The Office is non-political and independent in its decision-making.”

Errors in the Dodds Report:
Additional information from a government source

 •  Dorsami Naidu, president of the Fiji Law Society and vocal critic of the Government, was detained by police for 24 hours after protesting peacefully outside a High Court building.
Dorsami Naidu was detained under the PER immediately after the abrogation of the Constitution and released after a short period. The right to protest without a permit was and remains unlawful. He was detained because of this and not because he was a critic of the government.

 •  Hemendra Nagin, a lawyer who led a petition against the forcible removal of the Chief Justice in 2007, was fined $15,000 for professional misconduct.
 Henendra Nagin was made to pay $15,000 by the ILSC for unsatisfactory professional conduct not as a fine but as compensation to his clients. It had nothing to do with his involvement in a petition against the former CJ. He was disciplined by the ILSC much later and for his conduct concerning the administration of a deceased estate.

 •  Human rights lawyer Imrana Jalal was charged under a decree that did not come into force until two months after she was charged. She was eventually acquitted, but lives in exile.
Imrana Jalal was charged under local government legislation for operating a business without a licence not under any decree.

 • Graffiti artists have been charged with sedition."
The graffiti artists are charged with sedition under the Crimes Decree. This is not intimidation unless it is intimidation anytime a person is charged by State with a criminal offence. These people are all represented by counsel. I am of the opinion the State has the evidence to prove a conviction on these charges beyond reasonable doubt. My opinion will be tested in the courts. If I am correct they will be convicted, if not, they will be acquitted.

The Dodds Report in full
All comments pubished so far in the international media and blogs are based on and article by Eduardo Reyes in the UK Law Society Journal (see my earlier posting) not the report itself.  Here is a link to the original report.  Vinaka, J.


Anonymous said…
And we could expect exactly the same treatement for any visit from the NZ Law Society. Moaning about the failure to solicit any opinion from those engaging with the regime?...they are paid employees, what exactly are they going to say that would contradict their bosses?? The regime has made it clear that evrything is fine, there are no issues except for sanctions. On that basis alone it suggests they are at the least deceitful and have their OWN agenda.
@ On DODGY DODDS and more.....

'Getting your rocks off' in the High Court? A Sign of the Rule of Law 'in order'?

For years, those who have been directly and personally threatened in the vestibule of the High Court of Fiji or over-crowded, jostling Magistrates Court have experienced insecurity at the very Portals of Justice. So, what has been done to ensure that this cannot occur?

Rather consistently little it appears. Throwing rocks (one and one-in-waiting?)at a Sitting Judge of Appeal is not a game. It is attempted murder. Attempted murder by one already convicted of murder.

We are now reading of cyber-incitement to assassination on a daily basis. Even The biblical Book of Judges has been brought into the effort. What does this tell us of the RULE OF LAW and its comfort, reassurance and consistency in Fiji?

That should be left to readers to judge. Notwithstanding, we, the People-on-the-Ground know if the Rule of Law is in place. We test it each and every day. Throwing rocks in the High Court does not suggest to us that it is.

Anonymous said…
Shove the intellectual dishonesty and opt for security. Security in all the courthouses of Fiji for Members of the Judiciary, the tax-paying Fiji Public, Police Officers, Officers of the Court and the media (when they bother to come).

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