Equal application of law for all Fijians: AG

July 8, 2024 2:16 pm

Graham Leung [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

The newly appointed Attorney-General is committed to the rule of law and the importance of maintaining independence in his role.

In his maiden speech today in Parliament, Graham Leung reiterates that he is not affiliated with any political party.

He also spoke about the unique position of the Attorney-General as a fundamental pillar of the rule of law in Fiji.

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Leung highlighted the significance of his non-partisan stance, which allows him a degree of independence unavailable to an Attorney-General.

This independence, he notes affords him the opportunity to speak with greater candor and objectivity, a privilege he intends to use wisely and respectfully.

In defining his role, Leung says he is committed to providing the best legal advice to Cabinet and the government, consistent with the laws of Fiji.

He reiterates that no one including the elected government or any public official is above the law.

Leung states that the rule of law is the foundation of Fiji’s system of government and that it must apply equally to all, regardless of power, wealth, race, ethnicity or religion.

Leung affirms that the rule of law prevents the arbitrary exercise of executive power, promoting a peaceful country and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.

As the guardian of the rule of law, he says the Attorney-General is tasked with upholding the public interest, a duty Leung intends to discharge apolitically.

He stresses that his foremost identity is as a lawyer, not a politician, and through the Solicitor-General, he oversees civil litigation involving the State.

Leung emphasizes that the State should serve as a model litigant, meaning that government lawyers must first obey the law, abide by ethical obligations, act fairly at all times and maintain the highest professional standards.

Addressing the increased budget allocation to his office, Leung acknowledges the corresponding increase in responsibilities and deliverables.

He adds that he had stressed to his staff that Fijians expect them to work harder and deliver more, noting that government funding comes from taxpayers to whom they are all accountable.