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Access to justice report: More women had no legal representation

Friday, November 24, 2017

Update: 5:16PM OUT of the 260 Family Court Appeal and First Instance cases decided in the High Court in Fiji from 2015 to 2016, 43 per cent of women had no legal representation compared to 35 per cent of men.

This was revealed in the report by Fiji Women's Rights Movement (FWRM) on 'Balancing the Scales: Improving Fijian Women's Access to Justice' that was released this week.

According to the research, a detailed analysis of a randomised sample of 25 per cent of those Family Court cases (67 of the 260 cases) found that no instance of gender stereotypes, customary forms of reconciliation or other contentious factors were raised by the judicial officer.

The report further stated that 49 per cent of men and 42 per cent of women paid for private legal representation, while 10 per cent of cases brought by either men or women were represented by the Legal Aid Commission.

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