Home » Military/Police » Does the constitution protect police officers?

Does the constitution protect police officers?

Acting Commissioner of Police, Ravi Narayan, has announced that he’s terminated the services of Mr Ligairi for insubordination. We are told that he used his powers under the Constitution to terminate the services of his deputy.

Under Section 129 (7) of the Constitution the Commissioner is empowered “To remove persons from the Fiji Police Force”.

That all sounds very clear, but what about all the protections the constitution is supposed to provide for every individual.

Section 16 of the constitution says “every person has the right to executive or administrative action that is lawful, rational, proportionate, procedurally fair, and reasonably prompt”. It sounds like Deputy Commissioner Ligairi should be protected but the constitution also says the right to fairness is “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution and such other limitations as may be prescribed by law”.

In other words it is worthless. The Executive can do whatever is wants. A policeman does not have the right to decisions by a Commissioner which are rational, proportionate or procedurally fair because the constitution gives the Commissioner the over-riding power “to remove persons from the Fiji Police Force”. The normal protections any police officer should expect as a citizen are subject to this sweeping power.

It’s like the protection of freedom of speech. Our right to freedom of expression is subject any laws the regime may make “for the enforcement of media standards and providing for the regulation, registration and conduct of media organisations”.

This constitution, which no-one other than the unelected Attorney General and PM has had a say in, has been carefully designed by the two of them to keep their iron grip.

13 thoughts on “Does the constitution protect police officers?

  1. Lets be straight here, every employer has the right to terminate any employee as long as agreed employment contractual procedures are followed.

    There has been absolutely nothing mentioned anywhere yet that correct procedures were not followed.

  2. @ Anon

    Correction: It is not a NORMAL employer. It is meant to be a constifusionally appointed position – but not even the constifusion’s so-called writers follow the laws that they wrote.

    I will report this is FUCAC. I bet they are using the reports everyone sends in to make a really nice set of toilet roll holders.

  3. It’s immaterial who the employer is, there is a disciplinary code to be followed and there is no suggestion that this has not been followed.

  4. Bainimarama and the illegal AG have made Fiji more corrupt than ever with:
    No Transparency
    Compromised judiciary
    Military acting outside the law
    Human rights Abuses
    Lowest Economic Growth Ever
    Lowest Private Investment Ever
    Media Restrictions.

  5. Please, please, please. People, that question is a non issue. Why? Because the so called constitution you refer to is not binding and has no legal nor moral basis. So please, refrain from dealing with non issues my fellow citizens.

    Now, let’s focus on real issues. One is the reality we face everyday for the last 7 years and more. How we must dethrone the criminals that have enthroned themselves as national leaders. That is the major and compelling issue my friends. How and when will dethrone these criminals and impostors? Talking about their constitution has no value at all when they remain the law makers and judges and enforcers. Let’s agree to send them back to where they came from until justice takes its course over them. Thank you.

  6. “” The simple fact that no disciplinary proceeding was announced before the termination raises question. “”

    Suggestions such as this must also raise questions over the intelligence of Ratu Sigh.

  7. @ Anon

    Yeah right or may be yours!

    Any disciplinary action against someone in such a high position that warrant termination would hit the news asap. So this one appears to be termination on the spot.

    I guess that is too difficult for you grasp.

  8. Obviously Sigh is not aware that there are such things as confidentiality and consideration of past performance when making such decisions. All is not as simple as your views and opinions tend to be.

  9. Anon

    Confidentiality my arse. the mere announcement of disciplinary proceedings being initiated is far from confidential. A suspension for example pending investigation is announced over the media all the time. Termination of employment demands a serious breach that calls for due process; particularly for high profile public positions.

  10. @Anonymous

    You say “Every employer has a right to terminate and nothing mentioned anywhere yet that correct procedures were not followed”

    What correct procedures are laid down for the power “to remove persons from the Fiji Police Force”?

    The power in the constitution is unqualified and over-rides other constitutional protections according due process to all citizens.

    If the new South African Police Commissioner has a look at what’s happened he’ll start looking for another job rather than submit to working under a system where he can be removed without the need for any process.

  11. Like so many incidents in animal farm, I wouldn’t waste time discussing a matter that is simply a sideshow! The country’s constitution has been destroyed and the criminals have forced in their own on the people. They have imposed their will on the people and have cordoned off local dissent and opposition to their rule. They are even tightly controlling and will unwittingly rig the election to ensure they finally get the mandate and legitimacy to rule from the public! Its the legitimacy they have been ardently trying to get but without success over the past 7-8 years. This is all the scheming of Khaiyum and associates who lurk in the shadows and who have taken Fiji hostage under their decree-driven rule. It would be the biggest and longest hostage crisis in the world where a whole nation is subjected to the rule of terrorists masked as self-imposed rulers. The past Fiji parliament hostage crisis is no comparison to this. The terrorists have negotiated and forced their demands on the people as proven by various propagandist initiatives that have and will not yield positive outcomes but sustained suppression and imprisonment of the people, like the national charter, people’s assembly, constitution review and now the election!! We all can see from the way the media, the police, the judiciary, the public accounts committee, the elections office, the FUCAC, the civil service and the Director of Public Prostitution etc operate that Fiji is under siege. It has been like this since Bainikaiyum took over and they will not allow proper democracy back because it threatens their very existence. For the past years we have been saying that all these so-called initiatives to promote fairness, equality, and unity between the races is a con. There was no sincerity also to attack corruption because they are masters at it. It was all a con! They have definitely not made Fiji a better place but transformed it into a country plagued by institutional systemic corruption – the record speaks for itself! Never before has Fiji been ruled without proper financial probity regarding public accounts. Never before has Fiji been ruled without proper independence of law agencies. Never before has Fiji been ruled without proper integrity of oversight institutions. This is not something to be surprised with because the country has been ruled by terrorists. There should by no doubt whatsoever that Fiji has been rule by criminals for the past 7-8 years and have turned the country into nothing less than an animal farm!! Come on folks – the questionable sacking of judges and commissioners, the torturing and killing of prisoners and civilians, the missing millions in shipped containers, the undisclosed salaries, the undisclosed borrowings, the appointments of cronies and the vote-buying handouts should not all be a surprise because this is what you get from criminals. Getting distracted by police disciplinary procedures and whatever circus sideshows in animal farm is not good enough. Denouncing this election and threatening to boycott it for its its scandalous nature would be more important than talking about a police body that is as corrupt as the judiciary itself!!

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