Letters

Justice of Peace

Lawrence H Narayan Suva Last week Fiji TV news covered a solemn ceremony of about 50 new JPs being sworn-in by Chief Justice Anthony Gates. I noted with much interest
16 Feb 2014 10:27

Lawrence H Narayan
Suva

Last week Fiji TV news covered a solemn ceremony of about 50 new JPs being sworn-in by Chief Justice Anthony Gates.
I noted with much interest how he addressed them to be always humble, loyal and faithfully serve the communities in which they live. Also reminding them not to charge money for their services and to be readily available to the public during working hours so that there are lesser complaints against Justice of the Peace.
The Chief Justice’s comments comes from his many years of experience and knowledge of the justice system and the  many cases of complaints that he may have received in his capacity as the leading legal officer in the country.
He also commented on how in ages past, governments of larger nations appointed JPs from prominent citizens many with legal backgrounds who had no time to attend to ordinary citizens.
This is the reason why the modern trend is to appoint ordinary citizens to this position who live and work within the communities and who are easily reachable by ordinary citizens.
I personally think we have not solved this problem altogether. In my 20 years of community work though church fellowship, I have often encountered either rude JPs or “missing in action ones”.
Let us hope the 50 newly appointed JPs will make a difference for the better.




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