Australia's blind eye while the rule of law under siege in the Pacific

Article by Bal Kama

The resignation of the Australian born Nauru Supreme Court Chief Justice Geoffrey Eames last week will go down as one of the most disappointing moments in the judicial history of the island nation.

It came about as a result of the sacking of Nauru’s Chief Magistrate and the suspension of the Chief Justice early this year by the Nauruan government – events widely condemned as breaching the rule of law doctrine.

As an established democracy, the international community expects Australia not only to support the domestic democratic institutions in the Pacific Islands countries, but to take a more assertive stand against any individual or government that threatens the pillars of democracy.

To some extent, Australia responded to this latter expectation during the constitutional crises of Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Has Australia taken the same stance against the Nauruan government? No. Why not?

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