22 May 2009

Fiji regime says judges will not face significant backlogs despite appointment delays.

6:31 pm on 22 May 2009

The interim attorney general in Fiji says some courts will now reopen following the first appointment of judges since the former judiciary was sacked six weeks ago.

Justice Anthony Gates was sworn in as Chief Justice by the President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, while Justices Davendra Pathik, Daniel Gounder and Sosefa Inoke have also been reappointed as High Court judges.

Last month, the interim government appointed some new magistrates but the higher courts have not been able to sit since judges were dismissed on April the 10th.

But the Interim Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum does not believe the closure of the courts has created a huge backlog

"I think you'll probably find that there are a lot of cases that had already been heard prior to the 10th of April so I think they are very much on par as far as their cases are concerned bar a couple of the judges probably. So I think they'll probably have some catching up to do but I don't think its going to be that significant that its going to be some sort of major problem."

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says prior to the abrogation of the constitution there were 13 High Court judges and he expects more appointments to be made soon.