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Fiji Law Society Wants To Be Intervener

The Civil High Court yesterday heard the joinder application filed by the Fiji Law Society (FLS) in the committal proceedings brought against Richard Naidu by the Attorney-General. Richard Naidu is
27 Sep 2022 13:55
Fiji Law Society Wants To Be Intervener
Richard Naidu outside the High Court in Suva on September 16, 2022. File Photo

The Civil High Court yesterday heard the joinder application filed by the Fiji Law Society (FLS) in the committal proceedings brought against Richard Naidu by the Attorney-General. Richard Naidu is alleged to have scandalised the judiciary in a Facebook post.

Adish Narayan who appeared for the society in the joinder application submitted that the society was seeking an order from the Court directing that the society be granted leave to be joined as an intervener, and be permitted to file and serve written submissions and appear at the substantive hearing of the application for committal (oral submissions may be made only if leave granted at the hearing).

Mr Narayan argued that the society was seeking to intervene in the proceedings to assist the Court with legal submissions and case authorities as FLS was of the view that the proceedings were of public interest.

 

Mr Narayan also submitted that FLS sought to invoke the inherency of the Court’s jurisdiction as it did not meet the test set out under Order 15 of the High Court Rules to be permitted to intervene.

Mr Narayan then referred to various case authorities to support his position.

He further claimed that in an earlier Judgement a presiding judicial officer had stated that where alleged contempt is scandalising the Court it is inevitable that the Court has an interest in the proceedings.

 

He urged the Court to allow FLS leave to intervene and so that FLS can assist the Court with objective legal submissions.

Counsel representing the Attorney-General opposed the application by FLS highlighting the fact that FLS has not applied to intervene in similar applications concerning contempt when it came to other lawyers.

She argued that FLS did not seek to intervene when lawyers such as Rajendra Chaudhry, Niko Nawaikula and others fronted the Courts.

 

She argued that FLS appeared to be reminded of its statutory obligations under the Legal Practitioners Act only in this case.

She further argued that FLS could not possibly come in as an objective party as they are relying on their statutory obligations which would require them to defend Naidu.

The Court will deliver its Deci- sion in the application to intervene by FLS on 5 October 2022.

 

Story By: NACANIELI TUILEVUKA

Feedback: nacanieli@fijisun.com.fj



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