NATION

Pioneering Batch Of Environment Prosecutors Appointed

“We have the laws, now we have the prosecutors. Let’s get some convictions!” was the challenge the Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde gave the new prosecutors yesterday.
26 Jan 2021 10:46
Pioneering Batch Of Environment Prosecutors Appointed
Fijian Prime Minister, Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama has conveyed a congratulatory message to the Australian Prime Minister, Honourable Scott Morrison for the occasion of the Australia National Day commemorated on Tuesday 26th January 2021. In a congratulatory letter conveyed to his counterpart, PM Bainimarama said Fiji and Australia’s bilateral relations have soared to greater heights through the Vuvale Partnership with strengthened people to people links and elevated engagements and cooperation between the two nations. PM Bainimarama said that the Australian Government’s swift assistance to Fiji in the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Yasa, is a true reflection of the Vuvale Partnership. In commending the work of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), PM Bainimarama stated that Fijians acknowledge the sacrifice by the ADF onboard, the HMAS Adelaide Team who spent their Christmas and New Year’s providing logistical support and humanitarian assistance to Fiji. The Head of the Fijian Government reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to continue working closely with Australia in building a brighter and resilient future for the two nations and for regional prosperity.

Juggling work and studies is never easy.

The sentiment rings true for seven staff of the Ministry of Environment who had to juggle full-time work with Basic and Advanced Prosecution Training to be formally appointed as Prosecutors.

They are the first batch of environment prosecutors to be appointed and can now appear in the Magistrates Court to fight cases related to environment violations.

Apart from working their full-time jobs, the officers also had to dedicate hours of their time to attend the intensive 12-week training which was conducted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“We have the laws, now we have the prosecutors. Let’s get some convictions!” was the challenge the Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde gave the new prosecutors yesterday.

He said he was pleased with the positive report from the Course Convenor Yogesh Prasad that all officers had performed exceptionally well, were highly motivated, and were anxious to start.

“The appointment of prosecutors for the Department of the Environment marks a watershed moment and sends a strong signal to the public of Fiji, and the wider world, that people and companies that infringe Fiji’s environmental laws will be dealt with swiftly and severely,” Mr Pryde said.

Minister for Environment Mahendra Reddy said: “Today (yesterday), we are taking a bold step to send a signal to the public that we will do what is required to push them to behave in a manner that is in the public interest not only for the current generation, but also the future generations.”

The purpose of tracking and prosecuting environmental crimes, he said is to ensure Fiji’s natural environment enjoys a premier level of protection.

Permanent Secretary for Environment Joshua Wycliffe commended the officers for burning the midnight oil to complete their regular work after attending their training.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj


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