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Fiji’s Acting Chief Justice Says High Court Judges Order Was Invalid

“He (Justice Temo) 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 decisions/orders were reviewed.
19 May 2020 13:10
Fiji’s Acting Chief Justice Says High Court Judges Order Was Invalid
Acting Chief Justice Kamal Kumar. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

The Acting Chief Justice Kamal Kumar has ruled that the judgment delivered by Judge Justice Salesi Temo on the COVID-19 breaches last Friday is legally void.

Last week, Justice Temo had quashed 49 sentences related to curfew and social gathering breaches.

In a statement issued by the Acting CJ, Justice Kumar said he did not provide any report to Justice Temo requesting him to review the Magistrates’ decisions.

Acting Chief Justice Kumar said pursuant to Section 260(2) of Criminal Procedure Act 2009, Justice Temo 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.”

“He (Justice Temo) 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 decisions/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 Justice Temo’s order is a nullity and not to be followed by the Learned Magistrates.”

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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