23 Feb 2006

Vanuatu and New Caledonia judiciaries consider some joint services

2:31 pm on 23 February 2006

Vanuatu's judiciary has reached an historic agreement with its New Caledonia counterpart.

The two judiciaries have agreed to look into an extradition agreement between the two countries and judicial support services for civil, commercial and penal cases involving Francophones.

The Daily Post reports that this follows a high level visit to Vanuatu by Noumea's President of the Court of Appeal, Gérard Fey, and Prosecutor General of the Court of Appeal, Francois Badie.

They had meetings with Vanuatu's President Kalkot Mataskelekele and Chief Justice Vincent Lunabeck.

Mr Badie says that with no convention between France and Vanuatu within the judiciary, and given the historical ties between the two countries, it would be good to have a closer relationship.

He says that New Caledonia, which could assist Vanuatu with French judges in certain cases if asked, is interested in the role of island courts and other aspects of how the judiciary operates in Vanuatu.