7 Nov 2009

Fiji's Law Society not suprised by report findings

11:46 am on 7 November 2009

Fiji's Law Society says it expected the conclusions of a new report labelling the country's magistrates as being gender-biased, inexperienced and mediocre.

The Women Crisis Centre has been conducting the report that looks at how the country's new magistrates behave in gender-based crime cases.

The new magistrates were appointed after the turmoil in April when the constitution was thrown out and the judiciary sacked.

The Law Society lost its power to issue practising certificates and its president, Dorsami Naidu, says it's not surprised by the report's findings.

"When the family law act came in, there was supposed to be a proper domestic court section. That's gone out of the window, because they don't have the resources or the people to train. The normal magistrate court is handling all these domestic matters. A separate domestic court would be more in tune with the needs of women."

Dorsami Naidu says many legal practitioners stay away from court jobs in fear of supporting an unlawful regime.