NEWS

Parliament Approves High Court Bill

Sayed-Khaiyum motioned the Bill to be considered without delay and for it to be debated and voted upon by Parliament this Thursday.
02 Apr 2019 10:00
Parliament Approves High Court Bill
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with Opposition Member of Parliament Aseri Radrodro outside Parliament on April 1, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The proposed High Court Amendment Bill 2019 has the potential to increase the number of judges and therefore extend people’s access to the justice system, says Attorney- General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum moved the motion for the Bill to be considered by Parliament yesterday.

He motioned the Bill to be considered without delay and for it to be debated and voted upon by Parliament this Thursday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the amendment gave further independence to the judiciary.

“In the provisions of the current constitution there is no prescribed number of judges and no requirements to prescribe such a number,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that the general rule in any independent judiciary was that the judiciary should be free to appoint the number of judges or magistrates it wished to.

That is the case currently as far as magistrates are concerned.

“What this amendment does is it gives the ability to the Chief Justice, through the Judicial Services Commission to appoint the number of judges as they see fit and for us to actually remove the requirement to have a prescribed number of judges,” he said.

“This is a social good that is being done to allow and give independence to the judiciary and give more people access to justice.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said construction was going on in Nasinu and eventually there would have six new courts with six new magistrates.

“Hopefully we will have a High Court judge in Nasinu too, to be able to cater for that municipality and beyond to Nausori,” he said.

The Parliament voted on the motion and it was passed yesterday.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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