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Fiji lawyer gains barrister certificate

After a year’s battle, former Fiji lawyer Dr Muhammad Shamsud-Dean Sahu Khan has been granted a certificate to practice as a Barrister in New Zealand.

Although Mr Sahu Khan has been here since 2011, the New Zealand Law Society Lawyers Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal had earlier declined his application for a practising certificate since there was a ban in place in his native Fiji, where he was a prominent lawyer for more than four decades.

However, the Tribunal upheld his appeal and a notification issued on April 3, 2014 said that he could practice as a Barrister, meaning that he can appear at New Zealand courts on any legal matter, including criminal, civil, commercial, family and other cases.

Dr Sahu Khan lives and works from his home in Stonefields, a developing suburb in Mt Wellington.

“I feel relieved that I have been found fit to function as a Barrister in New Zealand. It has been a long struggle but this has been worthwhile,” Dr Sahu Khan told Indian Newslink.

Distinguished career

Born in 1940 in a family of lawyers (including his father and four brothers), Dr Sahu Khan obtained his Masters in Law (LLM) with Honours from the University of Auckland in 1964 and returned to Fiji to continue to practice law. In 1973, he returned to Auckland on a New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue research. He obtained his doctorate in 1975 for his thesis on the ‘Fiji Constitution.’

Dr Sahu Khan said that he did not belong to any political party in Fiji.

Law & Sports

He was President of the Fiji Law Society from 1982 to 1987.

He was President of the Fiji Football Association for 26 years (1985-2011), Member of the FIFA Legal Committee (1998-2004), Member of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (1998-2011) and its Deputy Chairman (2010-2011). He was also a Member of the Executive Committee of the Oceania Football Confederation (1985-2011) and its Treasurer (2009-2011). .

His role in promoting Soccer in the Oceania region and worldwide has been widely recognised.

The Allegations

In 2011, Dr Sahu Khan faced allegations that he did not take court action on behalf of a client. He was struck off from the Roll in Fiji.

“I appealed against the decision, which was heard in November 2011 and the Fiji Court of Appeal announced in open court that judgment will be given before December 15, 2011. But for unknown reasons, no judgment was given. Therefore, in 2013, the appeal was again listed for hearing,” he said.

Dr Sahu Khan is based at 4 Guard Crescent, Stonefields, Auckland 1072

Phone (09) 9501912; Mobile: 021-0535959 Email: drsahukhan@yahoo.com

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