What the Judiciary Can and Cannot Do
By G. Larson
The courts cannot strike down laws. So, the contention that a law cannot be reviewed by the courts is correct. It was ever thus. This is not an American system where laws can be reviewed or struck down for want of constitutionality. What appears sometimes, is that a particular person's decision under a law cannot be reviewed and is final.
Your commentator Gutter Press says the courts do not accept cases which are not subject to review. What does that mean? Of course they don't. If the particular law states that a decision is not amenable to judicial review, the courts would be overstepping their authority and interfering in the executive and legislative branches of government if they were to do so.
These provisions are called ouster clauses, and, though not common, do also occur from time to time in other jurisdictions. For example, in the UK the Interception of Communications Act 1985 creates a Tribunal with a function to investigate and remedy complaints that postal or telegraphic communications have been unlawfully intercepted. This Act provides that the decisions of the Tribunal shall not be subject to appeal or liable to be questioned in any court. There are other examples such as in Australia under the Migration Act which restricts the ability of the courts to review decisions made by the Refugee Tribunal.
I wonder if anyone ever bothers to actually read the wording of the law before they make their claims! Gutter Press simply shows off his/her ignorance.
The courts only apply the law
You mention that decrees have been passed that cannot be questioned in law and you have a problem with that. Why? As mentioned, the decrees like other laws previously passed can never be questioned by the courts. The legislature, in this case Cabinet, passes law. The courts apply the law. The courts do not make law and the legislature and executive do not interfere with the court's decision in applying that law. Nothing to see here. No issue.
The people that claim the judiciary is not independent are the ones that need to produce the evidence.
The State does not always win its cases.
(1) Balu Khan charged with conspiracy to murder the PM and the AG and the Minister for Finance. This was stayed due to misfeasance of the state. Ballu was allowed to leave Fiji. No action was taken against him.
(2) Imrana Jalal and Tuisolia, - same case, stays were granted.
(3) Chaudhry - information quashed in one set of charges and another set were stayed for want of jurisdiction.
(4) Risto Harmat - the person who assisted fugitive Tevita Mara out of Fiji. The State lost the case. Harmat allowed to go.
There was absolutely no interference in any of these cases by the executive branch of government. The State lost, the courts reprimanded the State for the way in which the cases were investigated and brought before them and that is why the stays were granted. On occasion, costs are awarded against the State. This was not what the executive wanted but they accepted the decision of the courts. If this was a dictatorship and the courts were not independent, the State would have won each of those cases!
Any examples or evidence the other way?
By the way, these types of cases are a very small percentage of the number of cases that the courts see every day. Most of the cases, 98% of the cases the courts deal with concern robbery, rape, murder, defilement, incest, and other crimes. These cases are als dealt with in the fairest manner possible in the interests of justice for all.