2 Apr 2019

Anthony Gates retires as Fiji's Chief Justice

4:57 pm on 2 April 2019

Fiji's Chief Justice Anthony Gates is retiring at the end of this week ending more than a decade as the country's highest ranking judicial officer.

As Chief Justice and earlier as a judge of the High Court he presided over several significant cases during political turmoil in Fiji.

Among his notable decisions was a ruling after the 2000 coup that the 1997 constitution continued to be the law of the land.

He was appointed acting Chief Justice after the 2006 coup, a decision which divided the judiciary.

He went on to receive the substantive appointment and after the constitution was abrogated in 2009 and all judges sacked, Chief Justice Gates was involved with reform of the judiciary when many Sri Lankan judges were appointed.

More recently, in a court hearing which drew international attention, he dismissed an appeal which allowed government opponent Sitiveni Rabuka to walk free, enabling him to contest the 2018 election.

High Court judge Justice Kamal Kumar will be acting Chief Justice from next week until a substantive appointment is made.