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Letter Of The Week Winner

Letter Of The Week Winner
September 17
09:01 2017

It’s lingo, not mental

Narayan Reddy, Lautoka

I agree with our Attorney-General when he commented that it has been brought to his attention about the etiquette behaviour of some magistrates.

Recently, one of my workers was accused of an incident where he was arrested, charged and went to trial. However, my worker can’t speak the Bauan dialect. During the trial the court clerk could not really communicate with him.

I wanted to inform the court clerk that the accused could not speak or understand the Bauan dialect, but I was told to sit down. Then, the accused was to be sent for a psychiatrist evaluation at the Saint Giles Hospital in Suva.

My worker is not mentally ill in anyway. He is uneducated and was sent to the remand centre. Had the foreign magistrate asked if the boy understood the Bauan dialect he could have understood the situation.

I believe when foreign magistrates come they should, at least, do six months of training on Fijian culture, language and about the people. I am just speaking from experience and this is one area where I feel the judicial system can be improved.

Narayan Reddy will receive a Philips Daily Collection 1.25l Plastic Jar Blender from courts.

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