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Chief Justice Gates Clarifies: Judges Appointed by Commission, Not Government

The Judicial Services Commission has the authority to appoint or recommend members of the bench not the Government, says Chief Justice Anthony Gates. His remark comes after SODELPA candidate Tanya
02 Nov 2018 11:59
Chief Justice Gates Clarifies:  Judges Appointed  by Commission, Not Government
Chief Justice Anthony Gates.

The Judicial Services Commission has the authority to appoint or recommend members of the bench not the Government, says Chief Justice Anthony Gates.

His remark comes after SODELPA candidate Tanya Waqanika told supporters at a campaign meeting in Namadi that they would remove expatriate judges.

She said they needed local members of the judiciary.

When questioned by the Fiji Sun, Chief Justice Gates said: “It would not be proper for me to make any comment at all.  We are in a General Election.

“The contesting parties may do so, but not the judiciary.

“They may have forgotten the appointing or recommending authority is the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) not the Government.”

Meanwhile, at the campaign meeting, Ms Waqanika said, within the first 100 days if SODELPA gets into government, they would reduce the expat judiciary.

They would also cease the employment contracts of expat permanent secretaries and chief executive officers in the government statutory bodies. 

“We will bring in our own people,” she said.

She said the positions would be held for locals and expats would revert to consultancy roles.

Ms Waqanika said they would still protect the Fijian citizens and any Fijian qualified can apply for the job. 

Ms Waqanika’s campaign manager Watisoni Nata also added that many Fijians had gone overseas to study but in the end the expats were still brought in to work in Fiji.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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