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Fiji

Constitution as adopted on 25 July 1997.

Section 4

    (1) The English, Fijian and Hindustani languages have equal status in the State.

    (2) This Constitution is to be adopted in English but translations in Fijian and Hindustani are to be available.

    (3) If, in the interpretation of a provision of this Constitution, there is an apparent difference between the meaning of the English version of the provision and its meaning in Fijian or Hindustani, the English version prevails.

    (4) Every person who transacts business with:

      (a) a department;
      (b) an office in a State service; or
      (c) a local authority;

    has the right to do so in English, Fijian or Hindustani, either directly or through a competent interpreter.

Section 6

    The people of the Fiji Islands recognise that, within the framework of this Constitution and the other laws of the State, the conduct of government is based on the following principles:
      (c) all persons have the right to practise their religion freely and to retain their language, culture and traditions;

Section 23

    (3) If a person (detainee) is detained pursuant to a measure authorised under a State of emergency:
      (a) the detainee must, as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within 7 days after the start of the detention, be given a Statement in writing, in a language that the detainee understands, specifying the grounds of the detention;

Section 27

    (1) Every person who is arrested or detained has the right:
      (a) to be informed promptly in a language that he or she understands of the reason for his or her arrest or detention and of the nature of any charge that may be brought;

Section 28

    (1) Every person charged with an offence has the right:
      (b) to be given details in legible writing, in a language that he or she understands, of the nature of and reasons for the charge;

Section 29

    (6) Every person charged with an offence, every party to civil proceedings and every witness in criminal or civil proceedings has the right to give evidence and to be questioned in a language that he or she understands.

    (7) Every person charged with an offence and every party to civil proceedings has the right to follow the proceedings in a language that he or she understands.

    (8) To give effect to the rights referred to in subsections (6) and (7), the court or tribunal concerned must, when the interests of justice so require, provide, without cost to the person concerned, the services of an interpreter or of a person competent in sign language.

Section 38

    (2) A person must not be unfairly discriminated against directly or indirectly, on the ground of his or her:
      (a) actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including race, ethnic origin, colour, place of origin, gender, sexual orientation, birth, primary language, economic status, age or disability; or

    (6) A law, or an administrative action taken under a law, is not inconsistent with the right to freedom from discrimination on the ground of:

      (a) language;

       

      The complete text of the constitution is provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Bern.


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