22 May 2009

Fiji regime appoints judges six weeks after former judiciary sacked

2:36 pm on 22 May 2009

The first appointment of new judges has been made in Fiji following the sacking of the former judiciary six weeks ago.

Justice Anthony Gates was reappointed as Fiji's Chief Justice by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo this morning.

Justices Davendra Pathik, Daniel Gounder and Sosefa Inoke have also been sworn-in as High Court judges, while Mary Muir has been appointed Resident Magistrate.

Fiji's justice system has largely come to a halt since April 10, when the President, abolished the constitution and dismissed the country's judges.

The sackings came a day after Fiji's Court of Appeal found that Commodore Frank Bainimarama's regime was illegally appointed after the military chief toppled the elected government in the 2006 coup.

The interim government last month reappointed a number of magistrates but higher courts have not been able to sit in the absence of judges.

The appointments have been made under the Judicial Services Decree and more are expected soon.