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Constitutional crisis: Australia's dirty fingerprints are all over Nauru's system



4 February 2014

Professor Ben Saul
Professor Ben Saul

Nauru has become an Australian satellite, a quasi-dependency acting under our close control. And in the process, it has contaminated Nauru's own conceptions of the rule of law, writes Professor Ben Saul.

In an opinion piece for The Guardian, Professor Saul asserts that there has been a craven silence from the Australian government about the grave constitutional crisis in Nauru, where the chief justice and resident magistrate have been illegally deposed by the government.

"Australian foreign policy should care for the independence of the judiciary, constitutionalism, and the rule of law everywhere, but particularly in the fragile democracies of our Pacific neighbours," he writes.

"An independent judiciary helps to ensure good government, accountability and fairness in public administration.

"It protects the rights of individuals from arbitrary interference or abuse by the state.

"It establishes a stable climate for business and investment and for the economy to flourish.

"Ultimately, it protects people from being vulnerable to the whim of whoever is in power.

"This is especially important in a small society like Nauru, where grievances or political disputes amongst its 10,000 people can be acutely personal."

View the entire article -

Constitutional crisis: Australia's dirty fingerprints are all over Nauru's system - The Guardian.

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