Human Rights, Licences, Permits, Inspections, Taxation, Evidence, Jurisdiction

The case concerned a permit to run a liquor store and complaints from the public. There were several objections made, but the Authority chose to put emphasis on the environmental impact of the opening of the liquor store.

On the Island of Rotuma, there were at the time four retail outlets for liquor. The main environmental problem was, according to the Health Inspector, the large number of decomposable beer bottles. The island did not have a recycling system, leading to a large increase in the waste discharged and disposed on the communal dump.

The Authority then considered the Rio Declaration and established that the state had agreed that human beings are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature. The Declaration had also been implemented in the Environment Management Act in Fiji to protect the environment of the country. This act aimed to combat waste pollution.

Moreover, the Authority noted that the issue also had human rights aspects and referred to the US declaration for Independence, especially the right to life, safety and well being. It meant that this right was hampered by the immediate threat of pollution and spreading of diseases by mosquitoes if the new liquor store was allowed. The Authority also stated that there was a responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations in accordance with the Stockholm Declaration. Lastly the Authority noted the special rights of indigenous peoples.

Conclusively, with reference to the above, the liquor license was declined.