(+) Fiji Must Have a Judiciary

New Zealander Anthony Gates, Fiji's Chief Justice, has criticized his own country and Australia for what he called interference in Fiji's judiciary. His comment came after NZ's initial denial of a visa to Family Court judge Anjala Wati. (NZ said her visa was not denied, only being decided upon).

Gates said “Fiji must have a judiciary. And it is not for Australia and New Zealand to tell us we cannot have one or to tell us who we are to appoint. No international convention allows such a supervisory role to a neighboring state.”

Meanwhile,  the Sri Lanka Government has seconded some of its serving judges and magistrates to help Fiji’s judiciary get back to its full capacity. Sri Lanka first offered judicial help to Fiji in 1987 following the Rabuka Coup. The CJ  said it was "an extremely generous offer of support at this critical time."  The judges and magistrates begin arriving tomorrow Monday.

* A reader has corrected me. (See Comments, below).  CJ Gates is not a New Zealander.  He was born in the UK, has Australian citizenship and has lived in Fiji for many years.


S.O.E. said…
Chief Justice Anthony Gates is NOT a New Zealander. He is British by birth also has Australian citizenship and has been in Fiji for more than thirty years. So he knows the situation in Fiji in depth and in breadth. The administration of the Fiji Courts is greatly improved of late. Could this be due to his painstaking effort? How do we know? We have spent almost ninety hours observing and we know that Fiji deserves the best justice system we may have. No one is better placed to see to this than Chief Justice Anthony Gates. Interference from outside Fiji is beyond the pale and is an interference with our sovereignty and our fundamental right to administer Fiji in every respect as we see fit and best suited to our needs. No outside entity may or should interfere with our judicial system. It is to be fully independent, impartial and that is how it must remain, unimpeded by machination and manipulation which so compromised it in our recent history. Observations of those outside Fiji who have no direct knowledge of how our court system was (almost broken) and how it has improved beyond recognition in the past year have no business passing comment until they carefully and assiduously inform themselves.