Gates’ role acknowledged
Chief Justice Anthony Gates was yesterday publicly acknowledged by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum for leading the Fijian judiciary through testing times. Speaking at the signing ceremony and launch of the European Union – Fiji Access to Justice Programme, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum acknowledged Chief Justice Gates for leading the Fijian judiciary at a time when members of the profession had refused to join the judiciary- fearing travel bans.
Chief Justice Gates was appointed to the position in 2008. Australia and New Zealand were some of the countries which had placed travel bans on anyone who had taken up employment in the Judiciary. Travel bans were also placed on family members of those who took up employment.
“I publicly acknowledge the CJ who has been the Chief Justice since 2008 - through some very trying times. He had to run a judiciary that was politically interfered with by the people from outside. We had members of the profession who did not join the judiciary because there was a fear of travel bans. “The reality though is there was lack of understanding. Whatever political differences there may be at a bilateral or multilateral level, the reality is the country continues to function. A country does not stop and I have to publically acknowledge the CJ for helping us through those trying times. And he held the support despite all the pressure, despite sometimes the ridicule.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said issues such as court clerks accepting bribes, forum shopping which were said to be happening, was no longer the case now under the leadership of Chief Justice Gates. Edited by Maraia Vula