14 Feb 2014

Six-monthly reviews for next Nauru chief justice called untenable

5:10 pm on 14 February 2014

A plan by the Nauru government to closely vet the work of the chief justice is an untenable proposition according the last man to hold the post.

Geoffrey Eames, who cannot enter Nauru after its government revoked his visa last month, says he now accepts that his job has gone.

The Nauru government has given cronyism as one reason for his removal, but Mr Eames says this is an insulting and ridiculous claim that has no basis in fact.

The government also says the work of the new chief justice would be reviewed by the government every six months.

Mr Eames says such a condition would likely mean no one would apply.

"The notion that the chief justice will be assessed every six months to see whether the government likes the decisions he has made absolutely destroys any semblance of the independence of the judiciary. And I would think that if that was a condition they imposed, no one would apply for the job."

Geoffrey Eames