14 Sep 2004

Transparency International says dismissal of advisors in Vanuatu will weaken legal system

8:23 pm on 14 September 2004

Transparency International says the removal of advisors to the Vanuatu judiciary will weaken the legal system.

The government announced a review of the role of all foreign advisors last week, and now says it will not renew the contracts of two Australian advisors to the public prosecutor.

The director of the Vanuatu chapter of Transperancy International, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson, says the move may be the first in a chain which will ultimately weaken the legal system.

"And the concern too is the Public Prosecutor is going to be done away with. Because at the moment, we only have a man from Papua New Guinea who has been hired to fill up the position of Public Prosecutor. So if that one is done away with, then we have the next one in charge is a man who is not fully registered with the courts yet, and he has not even finished his training. So we have a weak system."

The director of the Vanuatu chapter of Transparency International, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson.