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Fiji: Challenge to 2006 Coup Dismissed

(Oct. 24, 2008) It was reported on October 9, 2008, that Fiji's High Court dismissed a challenge to the actions of President Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda after the 2006 coup in which Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama took power in Fiji. The High Court ruled that the decision of the President to ratify the dismissal of the Prime Minister, to appoint Dr. Jona Baravilala Senilagakali as caretaker Prime Minister, and to dissolve Parliament were lawful exercises of the prerogative powers of the head of state to act for the public good in a crisis. It is the decision of the President to rule directly, pending elections, and to make and promulgate legislation prior to the appointment of a new parliament.

The High Court also found that the grant of immunity by promulgation was within the powers of the President in the emergency and that such a grant was valid and lawful. (C. Cooney, High Court Dismisses Fiji Coup Case, ABC NEWS, Oct. 9, 2008, available at