Graham Leung sworn in as AG; Turaga still Justice Minister

June 5, 2024 12:26 pm

Former Fiji Law Society President Graham Leung has been sworn in as the new Attorney General [left] [Source: Fiji Government/Facebook]

Former Fiji Law Society President Graham Leung has been sworn in as the new Attorney General.

The ceremony took place at the state house this morning where he took the oath and while there were talks about the change in the position, this has come as a surprise for many.

Leung replaces Siromi Turaga as the AG.

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The Prime Minister’s office says Turaga will continue in his role as the Justice Minister.

Siromi Turaga

The AG is the chief law officer of the State and has a responsibility for supervising Fijian law and advising the government on legal matters.

Like other members of the Fijian Cabinet, the attorney-general is appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister.

According to the 2013 Constitution of Fiji, the Attorney General is required to be a registered legal practitioner in Fiji, with not less than fifteen years’ post-admission legal practice, either in Fiji or internationally.

Under the constitution, the Minister appointed as the Attorney-General is the chief legal adviser to the Government.

A person is not qualified to be appointed as the Attorney-General unless he or she is admitted as a legal practitioner in Fiji and has had not less than 15 years post-admission practice as a legal practitioner whether in Fiji or abroad.

Also, the appointment can take place if the person has not been found guilty of any disciplinary proceeding involving legal practitioners whether in Fiji or abroad, including any proceeding by the Independent Legal Services Commission or any proceeding under the law governing legal practitioners, barristers and solicitors prior to the establishment of the Independent Legal Services Commission.

However, if the Prime Minister considers that there are no members of Parliament who—belong to the Prime Minister’s political party; belong to any political party in coalition with the Prime Minister’s political party; or are independent candidates who support the Prime Minister, who are qualified, suitable or available to be appointed as the Attorney-General, then the Prime Minister may appoint a person who is not a member of Parliament as the Attorney-General.

This will only be of a person who is a legal practitioner who is qualified to be appointed as the Attorney-General and is qualified to be a candidate for election to Parliament under section 56.

A person appointed as the Attorney-General under subsection (3) shall be entitled to take part in Cabinet as a Minister, and to sit in Parliament, provided however that he or she shall not be eligible to vote in Parliament.

No media was invited for the swearing in today.

We are trying to get a comment from the government on this latest move.