Analysis | NEWS

Legal Aid Service A Wonderful Blessing For People

For the Navosa people they do not have to make the long trip to Sigatoka or Suva or Nadi to get legal help.
14 Mar 2019 13:16
Legal Aid Service A Wonderful Blessing For People
Legal Aid Commission Acting Director Shahin Ali (second from left), chairperson of the Legal Aid Commission Sharvada Sharma (third from left), Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (fourth from left), with Legal Aid officers and officials during the opening of the Legal Aid office in Seaqaqa on March 13, 2019. Photo: Shratika Naidu

One of the realities of modern Fiji is that almost everything we do has legal implications.

This is why the opening of a Legal Aid Commission office at Keiyasi, Navosa, and Seaqaqa, Vanua Levu, by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, is significant and a big plus for people there.

For the Navosa people they do not have to make the long trip to Sigatoka or Suva or Nadi to get legal help.

The Seaqaqa residents do not have to go to Labasa for their legal needs.

What is interesting is that Mr Bainimarama has encouraged young people to take advantage of this free legal service irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds or status.

This is a big boost for the young generation. It opens up a number of possibilities to them because of its wide implications.

It is said that legal implications are the results or consequences of being involved in something according to the law.

An example is the case of marriage. As a consequence of being married, all property is considered co-owned as long as you acquired after you got married. Often the property is willed to the surviving spouse in the event of a partner’s death. Sometimes it ends in bitter acrimony when the family fights over inheritances. It also happens in a family breakup.

A legal implication can either be positive or negative. If you are caught taking an item or items out of a shop without paying, the legal implication is negative. It is negative because it could land you in court.

For those who work if you feel you have been discriminated because of your race or gender, then the legal implication is considered positive. If you take the matter to court and prove your case, the outcome will be positive.

The Legal Aid Office should increase public awareness of the legal implications of our decisions daily.

It is sad and unfortunate that we don’t normally seek legal advice. How many times have people being conned by scam artists and lost thousands of dollars.

When fly-by-night experts come to your area with a quick get-rich scheme alarm bells should be ringing. Before you commit yourself, seek legal advice first. The lawyers will give you sound advice.

The latest incident is an alleged car scam where some people are said to have paid between $1000 and $5000 for a new car of their choice to a group of so called “car salesmen”. Months have now passed there is no sign of the promised cars and the “car salesmen”.

The victims could have avoided the pain and loss if they had gone to the

nearest Legal Aid office for advice. That’s if they could not afford a lawyer.

There are many people out there who cannot afford lawyers, so the Legal Aid Office provides the relief they seek.

Beware of “bush lawyers” a term usually referred to some people with no legal background, who sound articulate, but misinform the gullible listeners.

Included on this list are some politicians who spread blatant lies that sound good to the people.

The Legal Aid offices can verify the law on any issues. They will explain the legal implications.

Among the services they can provide include the following:

  • Any purchases you make, whether it’s a bed or fridge have legal implications. It is always wise to seek advice particularly if it is a hire purchase;
  • Seek advice on the drawing up of your will to avoid complications after your death.
  • When you plan to start a small business remember it needs to be legalised. The Legal Aid office will offer advice;
  • Even when feel you have been a victim of a shady deal and short-changed seek legal advice.
  • If you are aggrieved about some public service go and get advice;

People who can access these Legal Aid services should consider them a wonderful blessing.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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