2 Nov 2009

Top Fiji judge wants travel ban lifted

1:37 pm on 2 November 2009

Fiji's top judge on Monday called on New Zealand and Australia to abandon their travel bans on the country's judiciary.

The bans were imposed in response to the military takeover of Fiji in 2006 and the abrogation of the Pacific nation's constitution earlier this year.

Justice Anthony Gates cited a recent example in which a Fijian judge sought a New Zealand medical visa for a sick child and suggests it was only grudgingly granted after the media became involved.

The judge claims Sri Lankan judges appointed to Fijian posts were phoned by the Australian High Commission warning them they would not be allowed into Australia for medical treatment.

Justice Gates says Fiji must have a judiciary and it is not for Australia or New Zealand to say otherwise.