Commission backs Qetaki and Rabuku’s appointment

June 19, 2024 12:41 pm

The Judicial Services Commission believes that appeals court Judge Alipate Qetaki and Acting Director of Public Prosecution John Rabuku are eligible to be holding the positions that they are appointed to.

Representing the commission in a matter referred to the Supreme Court by cabinet, Semi Leweniqila made submissions that Qetaki’s name did not appear on the discipline register and that Rabuku had served as judicial officer as he was a Magistrate.

He says they had submitted the affidavit of the Independent Legal Services Commission Secretary responsible for maintaining the discipline register.

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He says that the interpretation of the word guilty in the context of disciplinary proceedings should be read more broadly to encompass adverse findings of professional misconduct, unsatisfactory professional conduct and criminal conviction under the Legal Practitioners Act or under a corresponding law of a prescribed jurisdiction.

The cabinet had made referral to the Supreme Court concerning the interpretation of section 105(2)(b) of the Constitution.

This is in particular to, whether an Independent Legal Services Commission finding in a disciplinary proceeding instituted against a legal practitioner, is consistent with the intended finding of guilt in the constitutional provisions.

The context in which that opinion was sought relates to the appointment of John Rabuku to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution and Alipate Qetaki to the office of the Judge of Court of Appeal.

Lawyer, Feizal Hannif is representing the Solicitor General’s Office, Anil Singh is representing Justice Alipate Qetaki, Parvesh Sharma is appearing for the Human Rights Commission and Richard Naidu and Martin Daubney are appearing for the Fiji Law Society.

The hearing continues.