29 Jun 2007

Fiji seeks overseas judge to hear case against appointment of acting chief justice

9:49 am on 29 June 2007

An overseas judge is to be brought in to hear the case brought by the Fiji Law Society against the appointment of Justice Anthony Gates as the acting chief justice early this year.

The society is challenging the appointment because it says the Judicial Services Commission which recommends the appointment to the president should be chaired by the chief justice.

Instead it was chaired by Justice Nazhat Shameem because Justice Daniel Fatiaki was suspended by a presidential order.

Lawyers for the Fiji Law Society and the state appeared before Justice John Byrne in chambers yesterday for preliminary discussions with the case due for recall on July 30th for further directions.

The lawyers would not give any details of the discussions in chambers.

But a state lawyer said only that the court has decided that in view of the significance of this matter, it may be better that an overseas judge preside over the final hearing.