Dear Editor,

The Ombudsman is to be congratulated for attempting to clarify the power of pardon contained in the Vanuatu Constitution.

He is entirely correct in his desire. It is usual for there to be guidelines as to the exercise of the power to pardon. This is a power which should be exercised with great care, and never on the basis of friendship or political affiliations. It is a power which goes to the heart of the rule of law. Vanuatu stands out above almost all nations in relation to its respect of the rule of law.

Yours faithfully,

Hon. Rowan M. Downing QC

Former Solicitor General and retired international judge.

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