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Principles for Local Government Legislation

Lessons from the Commonwealth Pacific

image of Principles for Local Government Legislation
Across the Pacific local councils take a variety of different forms, ranging from traditional village structures to fullyfledged municipalities. Whatever form local government takes, an appropriate legislative and regulatory framework is essential to ensure that councils can effectively address the needs of their communities.



This study is designed to help Pacific island countries review and strengthen their existing frameworks. It begins by examining legislation and systems across a range of countries and institutional settings, identifying examples of best practice and areas for improvement. It then presents case studies of three very different legislative frameworks: Fiji, Solomon Islands and Samoa. In the conclusion, the findings are consolidated into ten key principles for effective legislation: fit for purpose; democracy and representation; local empowerment; probity; oversight and support; capacity and sustainability; efficiency, effectiveness and equity; community engagement; intergovernment cooperation; clarity and consistency.



This is an authoritative piece of research that will be extremely valuable to local government practitioners in the Pacific and beyond.

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Case Study: Fiji

The republic of Fiji consists of 332 islands, many very small, covering a total land area of more than 18,333 km2. The two major islands are Viti Levu, on which the capital Suva is situated, and Vanua Levu to the north east. The country has an estimated population of around 900,000. It is a multi-ethnic society, with constitutional protection given to indigenous Fijians and the Fijian culture. The head of state (president) must be an indigenous Fijian, and is normally appointed by the Great Council of Chiefs.

English

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