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High Court Matters For New Court Soon

High Court Matters For New Court Soon
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and the Chief Justice Anthony Gates with the Judicial staff members from Nasinu after the groundbreaking ceremony on May 25, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua
May 26
11:58 2018


High Court criminal matters will soon be heard in the Nasinu courthouse.

This was revealed during the new Nasinu Courthouse groundbreaking ceremony by Chief Justice Anthony Gates at Valelevu yesterday.

Chief Justice Gates said the old courthouse was a very small one and became extremely busy because it was within the Suva-Nausori corridor.

“I remember visiting the Nasinu Courthouse a few years ago before the last extension and the court was even then so busy, the counters resembled a betting shop filled with successful punters claiming their winnings,” he said.

“Files were stuffed into the roof above the magistrate’s desk since there was no other shelf or floor space.”

Chief Justice Gates said as Nasinu Town continued to grow fast, its services had to expand.

“Previously this courthouse was to be a magistrates court solely, but now at least two of the courtrooms will be made multi-functional so that a High Court trial could take place within its premises,” he said.

Chief Justice Gates said there were currently two Resident Magistrates sitting at the Nasinu Court with the Small Claims Tribunal, from time to time the Land Transport Authority and the Employment Relations Tribunal and the Tax Tribunal.

He said the design of the new courthouse allows it to be built with little disruption to the present facilities.

Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said now under the 2013 Fijian Constitution the Judiciary was also given financial and administrative independence.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said previously those who worked under the judiciary fell under the public service rule and were driven by the PSC. He said, however, now the judiciary had their own set of rules, appointments and guidelines, giving them true independence.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said changes were taking place and it could not be done without good leadership.

The new Nasinu courthouse will include: four courtrooms, including the magistrates chambers and other support offices, four tribunal rooms, four magistrate common rooms, library, administration, storage space, archive room, server room, audio/visual room, two exhibit rooms, witness rooms, eight cell blocks, sick bay, services yard and a car park.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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