Attorney General of Fiji

Prime Minister of Fiji Cabinet of Fiji President of Fiji
Attorney-General of Fiji
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Coat of arms of
the Republic of Fiji
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum 2016.jpg
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

since 6 October 2014
StyleThe Honourable
Reports toPrime Minister of Fiji
AppointerPresident of Fiji
First holderRobert Wilson Hamilton
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The Attorney-General is a political and legal officer in Fiji.[1] The Attorney-General is the chief law officer of the State, and has 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.[2] The Attorney General is a member of the Cabinet of Fiji,[3] and is normally expected to be a Member of Parliament. The Prime Minister may, however, choose an Attorney General from outside Parliament if he or she considers that there is no suitably qualified Member of Parliament who supports the Government. An Attorney General who is not a Member of Parliament may sit in Parliament, but may not vote.[4]

The office of the Attorney-General is the oldest surviving executive office in Fiji, having been established in the Kingdom of Fiji in 1872. It continued throughout Fiji's years as a British crown colony (1874–1970) and subsequently as the Dominion of Fiji (1970–1987) and republic (1987–present), with minimal modifications.

The Attorney-General was the only Cabinet office, apart from that of the Prime Minister, specifically established by the 1997 Constitution, which required the Attorney-General to be a member of either the House of Representatives or the Senate. A unique feature of the office was that except for voting rights (which could be exercised only in the chamber of which the Attorney-General was officially a member), the Attorney-General had the authority to participate in the business of both chambers of Parliament. This feature became redundant upon the adoption of the 2013 Constitution, which established a unicameral parliament.

Role of the Attorney-General's Office

The role of the Attorney-General is defined as "providing essential legal expertise and support to the Government". More specific functions include "legislative drafting", "legal aid", "the prerogative of mercy" (advising the President), "liquor licensing" and "film censorship".[5] Thus, the Attorney-General is responsible for all legal needs of government departments, statutory bodies, and state-owned enterprises.

The office has three offices in Suva, Lautoka, and Labasa respectively. Government legal work in the country's Central and Eastern Divisions is undertaken by the central office in Suva, headed by the Solicitor-General, while the Lautoka office (headed by the Principal Legal Officer) is responsible for the Western Division. The Northern Division is covered by the Labasa office.

List of Attorneys-General of Fiji

Note that some Attorneys-General have held office in multiple consecutive administrations, particularly in the colonial era.

Kingdom of Viti (1871–1874)

No. Name Term of Office Appointed by (King):
1 Robert Wilson Hamilton 1872 Seru Epenisa Cakobau
2 Charles Rossiter Forwood 1872–1873
3 Sydney Charles Burt 1873–1874

Crown colony (1874–1970)

No. Name Term of Office Appointed by (Governor):
4 James Herman De Ricci 1875–1876 Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon
5 Joseph Hector Garrick 1876–1882 Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon
6 Fielding Clarke 1882–1886 Sir William Des Vœux
7 Henry Spencer Berkeley 1886–1889
8 John Symonds Udal 1889–1899 Sir John Bates Thurston
9 Henry Edward Pollock 1901–1903 William Lamond Allardyce
10 Albert Ehrhardt 1903–1914 Sir Henry Moore Jackson
11 Alfred Karney Young 1914–1922 Sir Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott
12 Sir Kenneth MacKenzie 1922–1927 Sir Cecil Hunter Rodwell
13 Percy Alexander McElwaine 1927–1931 Sir Eyre Hutson
14 Charles Gough Howell 1931–1933 Sir Arthur George Murchison Fletcher
15 Ransley Samuel Thacker 1933–1938
16 Edward Enoch Jenkins 1938–1945 Sir Arthur Frederick Richards
17 John Henry Vaughan 1945–1949 Sir Alexander Grantham
18 Brian Andre Doyle 1949–1956 Sir Brian Freeston
19 Ashley Martin Greenwood 1956–1963 Sir Ronald Herbert Garvey
20 Henry Roger Justin Lewis 1963–1970 Sir Kenneth Phipson Maddocks

Dominion (1970–1987)

No. Name Term of Office Served under: [1]
Governor-General Prime Minister
21 John Neil Falvey 1970–1977 Ratu Sir George Cakobau Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
22 Sir Vijay R. Singh 1977–1979
23 Andrew Indar Narayan Deoki 1979–1981
24 Manikam Pillai 1981–1984
Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau
25 Qoriniasi Babitu Bale 1984–1987
26 Jai Ram Reddy 1987 Timoci Bavadra
27 Alipate Qetaki 1987 vacant
[1] The Attorney-General in this period was formally appointed by the Governor-General, but on the advice of the Prime Minister.

Republic (1987–present)

No. Name Term of Office Served under: [1]
President Prime Minister
28 Sailosi Kepa 1987–1992 Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
29 Apaitia Seru 1992 Sitiveni Rabuka
30 Kelemedi Bulewa 1992–1996
Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara
31 Etuate Tavai 1996–1999
32 Anand K. Singh 1999–2000 Mahendra Chaudhry
Ratu Tevita Momoedonu
(27) Alipate Qetaki 2000–2001 Ratu Josefa Iloilo Laisenia Qarase
Ratu Tevita Momoedonu
Laisenia Qarase
(25) Qoriniasi Babitu Bale 2001–2006 Laisenia Qarase
33 Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum 2007–2014 Rear Admiral (Rtd) Frank Bainimarama
Ratu Epeli Nailatikau
34 Faiyaz Koya 2014
(33) Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum 2014–present
George Konrote
[1] The Attorney-General in this period is formally appointed by the President, but on the advice of the Prime Minister.

See also


  1. ^ "Welcome to the website of the Office of the Attorney-General". Office of the Attorney-General. © Copyright 2005-2008, Office of the Attorney General. Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Fiji" (PDF). electionsfiji.gov.fj. p. 55. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Fiji" (PDF). electionsfiji.gov.fj. p. 55. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Constitution of the Republic of Fiji" (PDF). electionsfiji.gov.fj. p. 55. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  5. ^ Office of the Attorney General Archived October 24, 2015, at the Wayback Machine (Fiji), official website.