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Justice Temo Reminds Lawyer About Code of Ethics

Suva High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo issued a stern warning yesterday that lawyers cannot just drop a case to attend to personal matters. Justice Temo expressed disappointment in court
01 Dec 2017 13:12
Justice Temo Reminds Lawyer About Code of Ethics
Aman Ravindra-Singh

Suva High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo issued a stern warning yesterday that lawyers cannot just drop a case to attend to personal matters.

Justice Temo expressed disappointment in court after defence lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh failed to appear for the continuation of a rape trial involving a former primary school teacher.

“Counsel cannot just drop a case and attend to personal matters no matter how serious unless they appoint someone else to take on the case so that the trial continues as scheduled,” Justice Temo said.

Before commencement of trial, state lawyer Kimberley Semisi informed Justice Temo that Mr Ravindra-Singh had informed her that his mother had a stroke and that he had to leave.

Justice Temo said while he sympathised with Mr Ravindra-Singh on a personal level, it was an unprofessional behaviour to leave without informing the court first.

He added that Mr Ravindra-Singh knew exactly what to do. Justice Temo said it was in the code of ethics for a lawyer to find a substitute lawyer to appear on their behalf if they wanted to excuse themselves from proceedings.

He also revealed that on one occasion, he had to excuse himself from attending his father’s funeral because he had work to do.

Defence lawyer Andrew Liverpool appeared on Mr Ravindra-Singh’s behalf and sought the court’s indulgence in adjourning the matter to this morning where Mr Singh is expected to appear for the continuation of trial.

The former teacher allegedly raped and sexually assaulted nine female students in a school in Nasinu between January 1, 2010, and October 31, 2013.

His bail was extended and the trial is expected to continue today.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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