Crime & Court

Justice Temo’s Ruling Invalid: Acting Chief Justice

Since, no report was given by me for His Lordship Justice Temo to review the matters reviewed he lacked jurisdiction to conduct the review.
18 May 2020 16:41
Justice Temo’s Ruling Invalid: Acting Chief Justice
High Court judge Justice Salesi Temo. Photo: Ronald Kumar

On 14 May 2020, His Lordship Justice Temo delivered Judgment in relation to various matters dealt by Learned Magistrates in Suva, Nausori/Tailevu, Vunidawa and Savusavu Courts.

Section 260 of Criminal Procedure Act 2009 provides as follows:-

“(l) The High Court may call for and examine the record of any criminal proceedings before any Magistrates Court for the purpose of satisfying itself as to –

(a) the correctness, legality or propriety of any finding, sentence or order recorded or passed; and

(b) the regularity of any proceedings of any Magistrates Court.

(2) The High Court shall take action under subsection (1) upon the receipt of a report under the hand of the Chief Justice which requires that such action be taken.” Pursuant to Section 260(2) of Criminal Procedure Act 2009, he could only exercise his discretion to review Learned Magistrates’ decisions “upon receipt of a report under the hand of the Chief Justice which requires that such action be taken.”

I, as Acting Chief Justice did not provide any report to His Lordship requesting him to review the Magistrates’ decisions.

He did so without consulting my office in any respect and my office became aware of his reviewing the subject decisions or orders when it was published in the media, after those decision/orders were reviewed.

Since, no report was given by me for His Lordship Justice Temo to review the matters reviewed he lacked jurisdiction to conduct the review.

I have today declared that His Lordship Temo’s Order is a nullity and not to be followed by the Learned Magistrates.

I have also conducted a review of all the files that were subject to His Lordship’s judgment and identified files in which sentence passed by the Learned Magistrates needs to be reviewed.



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