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President’s Speech

Welcome to the Fiji Law Society Website.The Fiji Law Society was first formed in 1956 but the law reports record the existence of the legal profession in Fiji as early as the 1890s. 

The first two legal objectives of the Society provided for under the Legal Practitioners Act (Cap. 254) are:

  • to maintain and improve the standards of conduct and learning of the legal profession in Fiji; and
  • to promote the welfare and to preserve and maintain the integrity and status of the legal profession.

To have to enunciate these objectives in a legislative form highlights the onerous responsibility that practitioners carry. 

Naturally, even if these objectives were not legislated, it should still be the hallmark of every lawyer.With the advent of modern technology, Fiji faces the frightening possibility of being left behind in the 20th century unless we were to make some attempt to keep up with this global development.Hence, we hope that the Fiji Law Society’s presence on the Website will in some little way keep the profession in tune with these technological trends. 

The legal fraternity has undergone much change since our country’s independence in 1970. 

Already there is a fast growing recognition even within the ranks of its modest 250 membership that the profession must change with the times.  By change I do not mean change for the sake of change but change to better equip us to deliver competently, the unique skills that have been associated with the legal profession. 

The public, who we serve, know too well the many instances where we have failed to live up to the image for which the profession was once recognised. 

I dare say that these critical observations are not necessarily restricted to our tiny Islands only. However, a realisation of this failure and a resolve to address the wrong is a prerequisite to bringing “honour” back to the profession.  

The recent unsettling events remind us of the strategic role that a law society can play in a time of uncertainty.It is my privilege to work with a dedicated team of seven colleagues who all share a common resolve to better and develop the profession. 

Each of them is there because they believe they can still make a difference.  Unlike some of our overseas counterparts, no council members receive any remuneration but they have never begrudged this fact either.

They already come from busy practices or occupy senior legal posts and are recognised as leaders in the practice of law in their own right. My Council and I recognise that we cannot undo all the wrong for which the profession is guilty of. 

We have no illusions of the mammoth task entrusted to us as a Council.  We do not see that this trust is ceded to us by our members only but by the public who are our ultimate benefactors and by whom the legal profession are to be finally judged.

The Society’s new presence on the Website is but a small expression of the Council’s commitment to giving our next generation a fresh start. I hope you will find our Website informative and of assistance.

Graham Everett Leung

President

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