University Of Tasmania
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Powers of Fiji’s Head of State: some considerations on the 50th anniversary of Fiji’s independence

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 22:38 authored by Richard HerrRichard Herr
The Westminster model for parliamentary democracy has served as the template for one of the world’s most widely used forms of responsible government. The model owes its popularity to its cultural adaptiveness, which stems largely from the original model’s reliance on pragmatic conventions to resolve fundamental constitutional disputes. However, as Walter Bagehot noted 150 years ago, every replication can lead to ‘copying errors’. Fiji’s 2013 constitution was intended to restore Fiji to parliamentary democracy after the 2006 military coup. It has been controversial for many reasons including the significant changes it made to previous iterations of the Westminster model over the 50 years since Fiji’s independence especially the 1997 constitution which was itself a consequence of a military coup. This article tests the relevance of Bagehot’s concerns in contemporary Fiji as they appear in the 2013 Constitution, with a focus on Head of State-Parliament relations.


Publication title

Australasian Parliamentary Review








Faculty of Law


Australasian Study of Parliament Group

Place of publication


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Copyright 2020 the author

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  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Political systems