The Constitution Commission consults with local CSOs
Fiji's Constitution Commission has a tight schedule for the next six months. Established under the Fiji Constitutional Process (Constitution Commission) Decree 2012 (published on 18 July 2012), the committee has six months to:
- hold public meetings throughout the country to seek and analyse submissions for a new constitution of Fiji
- monitor the print, broadcast and electronic media to understand the views expressed there
- prepare a draft constitution
To help the citizens of Fiji understand the importance of their role in building a new constitution and providing input to the process, established Civic Society Organisations (CSOs) are encouraged to use their civic education programs to promote the constitution consultation process. To support the CSOs in this activity, The Constitutional Commission is developing a "Guide to the Constitution Making for the people of Fiji", and it invited representatives of CSOs to review and provide feedback on the draft guide, which will provide information, facts and figures for CSOs. TI Fiji's Executive Officer, Koila Kabu, ALAC Programme Director, Davina Chan, and Communications Officer, Kerry Barker, attended the review workshop as representatives of TI Fiji.
The Constitution Commission advised the CSO representatives that there was no template or form for citizens or groups making a submission to the Commission - a letter, comment or even a Facebook post would all be given due consideration by the Commission in their constitution drafting.
For TI Fiji, the workshop provided a great opportunity to discuss with their peers the opportunities and challenges of providing civic education workshops, and the information about the constitution consultation process that CSOs require.
CSO representatives were also able to provide constructive feedback and input on the Commission's draft "Guide to the Constitution Making for the people of Fiji", and the Commission is keen to release the guide within a week, enabling CSOs to provide accurate and comprehensive advice to citizens on the current constitution consultation process.
TI Fiji's Davina Chan and Koila Kabu attending the Constitution Commission workshop, held at the Parliament complex, 1 August 2012
TI Fiji's Koila Kabu and Kerry Barker traverse the halls of power to reach the workshop, held within the Parliament complex