8 May 2013

Fiji swears in six new members of the judiciary

3:24 pm on 8 May 2013

Fiji's judiciary has sworn in six new magistrates and judges at Government House, all of them from Sri Lanka.

Two new judges studied in Australia, and the other new judge graduated in Sri Lanka, while all three new magistrates were educated in Sri Lanka.

After the constitutional crisis in 2010 and the sacking of judges, Fiji's Chief Justice Anthony Gates asked Sri Lanka to provide support for the depleted judiciary.

Last year, a British law group held interviews in Fiji and found the prosecution service had been reduced to an unacceptable level of competence and independence.

The group said the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was populated with newly qualified lawyers from Sri Lanka, and independent judgment was seen as undesirable.

Last week the Fiji Citizens Constitutional Forum and it's Chief Executive Reverend Akuila Yabaki were found guilty of contempt of court for publishing comments criticising the quality of the rule of law in Fiji.