Centre reduces transfer of remandees

IMPROVEMENTS to corrections centres in the country could soon remove the need for remand centre inmates to attend court for various legal proceedings, says Chief Justice Anthony Gates.

He said he hoped improvements for all detention centres and holding cells would be conducted this year because of reports that had to be submitted to international monitoring agencies later in the year.

He made the comments while opening the $2.9 million brand new remand centre blocks in Lautoka on Saturday.

“In Fiji we are conscious of the need not to waste resources,” he said.

“Increasingly, applications to court for remandees may be handled by CCTV (closed circuit television). This removes the need to use scarce Corrections or Police transport to bring those detained to court.

“This would be used for bail applications, pre-trial conferences and mentions but not, of course, for the trial itself.”

Mr Gates said the improvements and upgrades at the Suva and Lautoka centres were the first of a series of improvements to detention facilities across the country.

“During the course of the year, I hope to see further upgrades to detention facilities – for police cells at stations, for holding cells at courthouses as well as further projects in the Corrections Department.”

The CJ said he, along with other heads of institutions in the Justice sector, would have to report to bodies such as the Association for the Prevention of Torture at Geneva in September on progress made in this field.

More Stories