Heffernan States That Post Coup Judges are Pretenders of the Courts
14 June 2008, Wellington: Angie Heffernan states that as far as the
current constitution stands, judges appointed after the coup are
“pretenders and usurpers of the Fiji court and have no right to sit
and hear matters such as the ones that were filed by her. She said
that these were the basis of her constitutional relief cases that was
filed in court.
She stated that no amount of rulings made by them against her , costs
against her or threats of contempt of courts proceedings made against
her by the interim regime and or these judges will change that simple
fact, says PCPI Director Angie Heffernan
In regards to the absurd personal costs made against her and her
former solicitor Mr Naidu, Heffernan stated that this is obviously a
tactic by the interim regime and the “judges whose legality have been
challenged” to prevent any further judicial challenges to the legality
of their appointments.
Heffernan says that as far as she is concerned, it is painfully clear
from the conduct of post coup judges who unlawfully sat on her matter,
that they have not carried out their duties with independence,
impartiality and with judicial fairness and integrity according to
constitutional provisions and court rules.
Ms Heffernan states she had filed applications for relief against
orders made by Justice Brynes and Justice Pathik under the provision
of Chapter 4, section 29 .2 of Constitution and also under s. 129
(1) and s. 132 (2) to have her matter heard before a judge appointed
under these provisions.
Basically to have her matter heard before a judge appointed prior to
the military coup on December 5 2006.
She stated that contrary to the claims by the respondents in her case
of “judge shopping”, Heffernan states that she had consistently stated
in all her filed affidavits that she requested a “pre coup judge” who
was appointed in accordance with the provisions of the constitution,
as was her constitutional right.
She said her matter was seized off Judge Jiten Singh, who had granted
her a temporary relief order against the military and the interim
regime and since than has been allocated to “post coup military
Heffernan says what is of serious concern is that civil judicial cases
challenging the legality of the actions taken by the military and its
interim regime has been allocated to only judges appointed by the
military interim regime.
These same judges whose appointments under the constitution is
currently the matter of judicial challenge in cases filed by the
suspended Chief Justice Mr Fatiyaki and the Fiji Law Society.
She added that some of same post coup judges who ruled against her
challenging their legality and their constitutional right to hear
matters are also sitting on the Fatiyaki Case.
The Pacific Centre for Public Integrity has stated that it has
supported and will continue to support the current personal
constitutional redress case of its Executive Director, Ms Angenette
Ms Heffernan as an employee of PCPI had taken members of the military
and the interim regime to court after she and her members of her
family were personally harassed by members of the military.
The personal harassment faced by Ms Heffernan was a direct result of
fulfilling the objectives of PCPI which is to address corruption and
to promote good governance, the rule of law and democracy in Fiji and
Heffernan also stressed that contrary to false claims made by the
interim regime and deliberately misreported by one media organization
, her legal case is not funded by AUSAID nor NZAID nor any other
She clarified that PCPI is indirectly supported by AUSAID through the
provision of a legal officer through the Australian Volunteer Abroad
program to support PCPI’s regional campaign. Other than that, we do
not receive direct funding from AUSAID.
Heffernan stated that NZAID funds a two year regional governance
project in Vanuatu and Nauru, which is at the end of completion. She
stated that it is a well known accepted fact that no foreign
government will fund legal challenges as such and it is politically
naïve and malicious of the interim regime to suggest otherwise.
She stated that it is clear that the interim and its supporters will
stop at nothing to destroy the reputation of any persons or
organization that threatens its continued unlawful existence.
we thank you for having the balls to stand up and fight for the silent and surpressed majority.
The SV Team