Earlier in the month, Fiji's ousted SDL party began proceedings before the High Court to test the legality of the coup. Meanwhile, many of Fiji's judges seem to have already made up their mind. Four Court of Appeal judges have left the country in the last three months after their contracts expired. The reason?
Justice Ward [the President of the Court of Appeal] said the appeals judges considered that in the present circumstances, they could not be appointed or re-appointed under the terms of the Constitution. "To accept re-appointment in these circumstances would be a breach of our judicial oaths," Justice Ward said.
In other words, they think the interim regime is illegal and unconstitutional. This doesn't bode well for the regime's chances before the courts - but it also doesn't bode well for the proper functioning of Fiji's judiciary. The court of appeal has now halved in size, and reading between the lines, it seems that more of them will likewise refuse reappointment. By the middle of the year, there may very well not be enough judges to keep the legal system operating.