We welcome the announcement by Fiji's Prime Minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, on 9 March of a process and timeline for the development of a new constitution.

The Constitutional Commission, which will conduct national consultations and report back to a constitutional assembly, is to be chaired by Professor Yash Ghai. We believe Professor Yash is an excellent candidate for this position, and commend his suitability for guiding this process in the best interests of all Fijians.

Conciliation Resources supports our partner the Citizens' Constitutional Forum in their call for a "conducive environment which encourages freedom of speech and welcomes dialogue".

Highlights in the announcement include:

  • The commencement of a national civic education campaign.
  • The creation of a constitutional commission, which will conduct direct consultation activities and draft the constitution.
  • The establishment of a Constituent Assembly, which will consist of representative civil society groups and organisations.

The process is expected to be complete within one year, with elections planned for 2014.

For further information about the process ahead see Professor Cheryl Saunders' lecture on Constitution-making in the 21st century and the handbook Constitution-making and reform: Options for the processes.

Find out more about Conciliation Resources' work with partners in Fiji.