‘Independent’ courts

Chief Registrar Yohan Liyanage and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum officiate in the ground breaking ceremony in Valelevu yesterday. Picture: DEPTFO

UNDER the 2013 Constitution, the judiciary has been given financial and administrative independence, says Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

During the groundbreaking ceremony for the new courthouse at the Nasinu Magistrates Court on Friday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said previously those who worked in the judiciary were governed under the public service rules.

“Now of course they have their own set of rules, they have their own set of appointments, they have their own set of guidelines and that is giving true independence,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also publicly acknowledged the Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, for the leadership he had provided.

“In particular, what some people may have called the trying times from 2007 and onwards until now. “Fiji has immensely made that great transition from the days prior to 2014 to what we have now and indeed of course many people are still trying to play catch-up with the transitions that are taking place. “So I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank the honourable Chief Justice who is also acting president for his leadership, his guidance and indeed his wisdom in how he has led the judiciary.”

Chief Justice Gates said the new complex would include at least two courtrooms and it would be made multi-functional so a High Court criminal trial could take place.