find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Fiji practising certificates to expire 7 months early

Fiji practising certificates to expire 7 months early

Fijian lawyers will see their practising certificates expire well in advance of their usual February cut-off date, after a decree was released by the Fijian Government yesterday to ban the Fiji…

Fijian lawyers will see their practising certificates expire well in advance of their usual February cut-off date, after a decree was released by the Fijian Government yesterday to ban the Fiji Law Society issuing the certificates.

Instead of going through the Law Society, Fijian lawyers will now need to reapply to the Chief Registrar of the High Court, Ana Rokomokoti, for new certificates by 15 June in order to meet a 30 June expiration deadline.

At a press conference in Fiji on Monday, Fijian Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that certificates would be issued on 1 July and remain valid until February 2010, before then being issued on an annual basis.

Sayed-Khaiyum said the Fiji Law Society would continue to exist, but that membership to the Law Society would be on a voluntary basis only.

In Australia, concern was expressed by the Law Council in a statement following the announcement, citing fears for the independence of the legal profession in Fiji. The Law Council is particularly concerned that the power to issue practicing certificates would effectively rest with a government employee, by being placed in the hands of the Chief Registrar of the Court.

Law Council president John Corcoran said: "I am concerned that this could be the first step in the Fiji Government's attempts to control the country's legal profession by not allowing lawyers who oppose the regime to practise law."

Sayed-Khaiyum told Radio National that the government-issued decree will also see a Legal Services Commission created, as well as "new and spelt out definitions of professional or unsatisfactory professional conduct". He said the Law Society had lost its provision to hear disciplinary matters, with complaints to now be lodged with the Chief Registrar instead.

The Fiji Club of New Zealand issued a statement on Tuesday declaring the new rules a good move, because "no one professional body in any country should have the monopoly to control their patch as the consumers and taxpayers end up paying heaps and heaps for their services".

Corcoran, however, noted the fact that the Fijian Government had taken the measure without consulting the Fiji Law Society, or Fiji's legal profession.

"Without an independent legal profession, a vital ingredient in upholding the rule of law in Fiji would be missing," he said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Fiji practising certificates to expire 7 months early
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, even how we take a...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...