Jai Ram Reddy

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Jai Ram Reddy
Senator (Fiji)
In office
1972 – 1977; 1987
Leader of Opposition (Fiji)
In office
1977–1984
Preceded by Sidiq Koya
Succeeded by Sidiq Koya
In office
1992–1999
Preceded by vacant
Succeeded by Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
President of the Court of Appeal of Fiji
In office
2000; 2002 – 2003
Preceded by new office
Succeeded by Gordon Ward
Personal details
Born 12 May 1937
Lautoka, Fiji
Political party National Federation Party
Profession Lawyer
Religion Hindu

Jai Ram Reddy, CF (born 12 May 1937) is an Indo-Fijian statesman, who has had a distinguished career in both the legislative and judicial branches of the Fijian government. In 1998, he received Fiji's highest honour, the Companion of the Order of Fiji, in recognition of his services to his country.[1]

As leader of the National Federation Party (NFP), he was Leader of the Official Opposition from 1977 to 1983, and again from 1992 to 1999. He went on to serve as President of the Fiji Court of Appeal. He held this post briefly in 2000, and again from 2002 to 2003. On 31 January 2003, the United Nations General Assembly elected him as a member of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which is responsible for the prosecution of war crimes.

Education and early career[edit]

A lawyer by training, Reddy was admitted to the bar in New Zealand in 1960, and in Fiji the following year.[2] From 1961 to 1966 he was Staff Solicitor and Associate at the law firm of A. D. Patel & Co in Nadi, Fiji. From 1966 to 1968, he served as Crown Counsel and was Principal Legal Officer in the Attorney-General's Office from 1968 to 1970. He was the senior partner in a law firm of Stuart Reddy & Co of Lautoka, Fiji. From 1988 to 1997, he was sole practitioner in Lautoka.

Political career[edit]

Reddy entered politics when he was appointed to the Senate, in 1972, by the then leader of the opposition, Sidiq Koya. In 1976 he was instrumental in bringing the two factions of the party together.

Reddy replaced Sidiq Koya as leader of the NFP in September 1977, following major internal strife which had resulted in the party's missing out on forming the government despite its narrow victory in the election of March 1977, and its subsequent crushing defeat in a second election held to resolve the political stalemate in September. Under his leadership, the NFP made substantial gains in the election of 1982, but fell short of ousting the longtime Prime Minister Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, and was subsequently deposed as party leader in favour of Koya in 1983. Reddy briefly served as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice in the Bavadra government, in April and May 1987. Following the military coups of 1987, however, he again took over the leadership of the NFP, and continued to lead the party throughout the 1990s. In the elections of 1992 and 1994, the NFP won a majority of the 27 seats in the House of Representatives then reserved for Indo-Fijians.

In the late 1990s, Reddy decided to negotiate with the Prime Minister, General Sitiveni Rabuka, on amending the 1990 constitution, which was widely perceived as racist and was compared by many to South Africa's apartheid regime, as it guaranteed the political supremacy of ethnic Fijians. As a result of these negotiations, assisted by Sir Paul Reeves, a former Governor General of New Zealand, a new constitution emerged, which removed all discriminatory provisions against Indo-Fijians (except the mainly honorary office of President, which remained reserved for a Fijian hereditary Chief). This was considered Reddy's crowning achievement. His glory was short-lived, however. In the ensuing election of 1999, he entered into an electoral pact with his former enemy, Rabuka, an alliance which proved to be his undoing. Many Indo-Fijians had not forgiven Rabuka for carrying out the coups of 1987 and for his role in the subsequent adoption of the 1990 constitution, and the NFP lost all of its seats. Reddy's parliamentary career of some twenty years had come to an end.

Reddy as judge[edit]

In 2000, Reddy was appointed President of the Fiji Court of Appeal. He resigned in the wake of the overthrow of the constitutional government of Fiji in 2000, but was reappointed to the post in January 2002. He resigned the Presidency of the Court of Appeal on 18 April 2003 to take up his position with the Rwanda tribunal, but remained a member of the court. Fiji Television reported on 14 June 2006 that Reddy's term on the Rwanda tribunal, along with that of ten other members, which had been due to expire in May 2007, had been extended to December 2008.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jai Ram Reddy (Fiji Islands)". International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda , United Nations. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Jai Ram Reddy (Fiji Islands)". http://ictr-archive09.library.cornell.edu/. Cornell University. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Sidiq Koya
Leader of the Opposition of Fiji
1977–1984
Succeeded by
Sidiq Koya
Preceded by
vacant
Leader of the Opposition of Fiji
1992–1999
Succeeded by
Ratu Inoke Kubuabola
Legal offices
Preceded by
Qoriniasi Bale
Attorney-General of Fiji
1987
Succeeded by
Sailosi Kepa
Preceded by
new office
President of the Court of Appeal
2000; 2002–2003
Succeeded by
Gordon Ward