Justice Gates’s summing up in the Chandrika Prasad case a whole eight years
ago was eloquent, as Tui Savu correctly states. It was eloquent indeed!
On that occasion Justice Gates very properly defined the court’s fundamental
And we gratefully thank Tui for his own eloquence in setting out the
In particular, we are grateful to him for highlighting the fact that it
has been more than three months since Qarase’s Constitutional case was
heard before Acting Chief Justice Gates and Justices Pathick and Byrnes,
and that a judgement is still on notice.
Tui is also right in saying that the Qarase case is ultimately more
important than previous Constitutional cases and that the court’s
composition of three Justices (instead of a single Judge) bears testimony
That’s a stark truth demonstrated by the the “Off Air” sign flashing
outside the respective Judges’ rooms for the past three-plus months.
The judges are part of a wider ega peer group that is jealous of its
reputation, and they know (Oh boy, don’t they know!) that they have to
take the law seriously (and, more importantly, they have to be SEEN to
take the law seriously).
They also know that if they follow the rule of the law, they will be in
direct conflict with Fiji’s military-backed regime, which thinks it can
make up the law as it goes along.
By way of contrast, look at the way the regime used (abused) the law to
throw out the expatriate publishers of the Fiji Sun and the Fiji Times.
In terms of jurisprudence, that whole ugly process of denying Russell Hunter
and Evan Hannah due process (courtesy of Kid Cowboy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum)
was about as far removed from Justice Gates’s considered words in 2000
you can get and still be on the same planet.
So what’s going to happen in the Qarase case?
We have no idea, mainly because we are well aware of the extent to which
this dictator and his manipulators will go to get their own way.
What we are dealing with are “usurpers” (Chodopu$$, Bainimarama and
Sayed-Khaiyum) and a gross “illegality”(their overthrow of a legally
government and their establishment of Fiji’s military-backed regime).
That’s why we refer you to Justice Gates’s brilliant opinion about
“usurpers” and “illegality”, spoken back in 2000:
“It may be a vain hope that the judgment of a court will deter a usurper, or
have the effect of restoring legality, but for a court to be deterred by
fear of failure is merely to acquiesce in illegality. It may be that the
court’s mere presence exercises some check on a usurper who prefers to
avoid a confrontation with it.”
OK, that was back in 2000, but unless Mr Justice Anthony Gates has undergone
a brain transplant in the meantime we cannot see any reason whatsover why
the case brought by Laisenia Qarase against Fiji’s dictator, Bainimarama/
In fact, we are convinced that’s why the judgement has been delayed for so
long and we suspect it may be delayed even longer, perhaps until after the
dictator has abrogated the Constitution and declared martial law.
As he has proved in the past, he will go to any lengths to avoid the rule
Folks, please be patient. The next BIG LIE is on the way!
(THE FDN TEAM)