Law Society censoring recruitment of lawyers

The Law Society is now censoring recruitment advertisements in Law Talk. The Fiji of Directorate of Public Prosecutions wanted to advertise for qualified New Zealand lawyers for positions they have available. This would of course been a good thing with New Zealand qualified lawyers able to impart their knowledge and belief on the Fijian legal profession.

Instead the Law Society has banned the adverts essentially wanting to censor the advertising of jobs in Fiji.

Christopher Pryde, the Director of Public prosecutions says:

An email to the Office of the DPP this morning (3.2.12), said “The New Zealand Law Society Board has decided unanimously that the NZLS will not accept advertisements for legal positions in Fiji under the current interim military regime”.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Christopher Pryde, said it was unfortunate that the NZLS was involving itself in politics and preventing New Zealand lawyers from hearing about job vacancies in Fiji.

“It is unfortunate that New Zealand lawyers are being denied the opportunity to decide for themselves whether they wish to take up legal positions in Fiji. By refusing to allow us the right to advertise, the NZLS is effectively censoring what New Zealand lawyers know about Fiji.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in an independent office and the Director of Public Prosecutions has the sole responsibility for criminal prosecutions in Fiji. This is without recourse to any Government minister, including the Attorney-General. The Office in that regard is non-political.

This is the bizarre part of the Law Society’s action. They think that this is a “smart sanction”. In fact it is highly dumb.

What shall we do with people charged with rape or robbery or murder? Send them to New Zealand?” he said.

Mr Pryde said he remains concerned that the NZLS continue to have an inaccurate picture of the Fijian situation, in particular of the judiciary and the courts.

“My invitation to the NZLS still stands. They are welcome to visit Fiji and meet and talk to anyone without restriction so that they can obtain for themselves a first-hand appraisal of things in Fiji. In the meantime, we would appreciate the NZLS allowing lawyers to decide things for themselves and allow us the right to advertise” he said. the Law Society has acted based on the inane drivel published by Barbara Dreaver and Michael Field, both of whom haven’t been in Fiji for some years and they also haven’t haven’t bothered to go anf find out for themselves the situation in Fiji.

Actions like this are stupid and hardly contribute to enabling Fiji to return to democracy. in point of fact they hinder the path to democracy by allowing the impression that independent bodies such as the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to be maligned as political corrupt.

One thing the Law Society has done though, by dabbling in foreign politics, is opened themselves up to a challenge for whatever status they enjoy with the Charities Commission.


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  • Quintin Hogg

    The NZLS has no status under the Charities Act.
    It owes it’s existence to the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006.

    • Bugger…oh well perhaps the Justice Minister might like to undertake a legislative review considering the Law Society now wishes to engage in politics.

      • Quintin Hogg

        Two things;

        The NZLS is as a consequence of the LCA required to comment on bills and legislation as a matter of course. So it plays has played politics as you call it for a considerable time.

        secondly, and i say this as one who has an antipathy to the NZLS, they have delcined to accept an advertisement of a role in their fortnightly magazine.  That magazine one of three magazines that circulate so it is open to the Fiji DPP to advertise in them.

        Johnboy, I suspect FES has left the charms of the legally aided behind him and moved to profitable areas of the law.

  • Johnboy

    I’d be happy enough to sponsor an ad that recruited a surplus to current requirements legal aid bludger like say Lord Birkenhead to a more meaningful position in Fiji.

  • Anonymous

    Once again it is Cameron Slater’s Whaleoil blog who informs the NZ public about what the NZ media choose not to disclose and publish. I would have thought it would be a good thing to have NZ lawyers working in fiji.

  • Rule Britannia

    So who is prepared to prosecute the alleged murderer of a British Tourist to Fiji who was deliberately run over by a truck and then, when found to be still alive,  killed with a screw-driver in front of witnessed (all too scared to come forward). No one? No one at all? This reticence in the cause of justice is truly disgusting. Seven years is a long time to wait for charges and Due Process. The New Zealand Law Society would pretend this is to be ‘None of their business’? Howzat for an Ethical Mindset?  We shall go elsewhere for justice. Because, believe you me, it shall and will be found.