23 Aug 2007

Fiji appeal court judges yet to be named

1:19 pm on 23 August 2007

The Fiji Court of Appeal is due to have its second sitting for the year next week but a newspaper report says the judges to hear the cases are yet to be confirmed.

The Fiji Times says after the departure of the Appeal Court president, Justice Gordon Ward, whose contract expired in June, no one has been named to replace him.

It says the acting chief justice, Anthony Gates, who is chairman of the Judicial Services Commission, has declined to comment on the appointments.

But he has confirmed the Court of Appeal will begin hearings on Monday.

Justice Gates said Justice Ward and another Appeal Court judge, Michael Scott, did not apply for re-appointment.

Justice Gates says one of the overseas Appeal Court judges, Anthony Ellis, died recently but appointments would be made to ensure the continuity of the work of the courts.

It is believed three Fiji judges will sit in the Appeal Court when it begins hearings next week.

The interim attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, says he has full confidence in the path set out by the acting chief justice to keep the courts fully functional and independent.

Meanwhile, the suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki, has filed a High Court challenge to all appointments made by the Judicial Services Commission since he stopped chairing its meetings.