IT’S LINGO, NOT MEN­TAL

Narayan Reddy, Lau­toka

Fiji Sun - - Comment -

I agree with our At­tor­ney-Gen­eral when he com­mented that it has been brought to his at­ten­tion about the eti­quette be­hav­iour of some mag­is­trates. Re­cently, one of my work­ers was ac­cused of an in­ci­dent where he was ar­rested, charged and went to trial. How­ever, my worker can't speak the Bauan di­alect. Dur­ing the trial the court clerk could not re­ally com­mu­ni­cate with him.

I wanted to in­form the court clerk that the ac­cused could not speak or un­der­stand the Bauan di­alect, but I was told to sit down. Then, the ac­cused was to be sent for a psy­chi­a­trist eval­u­a­tion at the Saint Giles Hos­pi­tal in Suva.

My worker is not men­tally ill in any­way. He is un­e­d­u­cated and was sent to the re­mand cen­tre. Had the for­eign mag­is­trate asked if the boy un­der­stood the Bauan di­alect he could have un­der­stood the sit­u­a­tion. I be­lieve when for­eign mag­is­trates come they should, at least, do six months of train­ing on Fi­jian cul­ture, lan­guage and about the peo­ple. I am just speak­ing from ex­pe­ri­ence and this is one area where I feel the ju­di­cial sys­tem can be im­proved.

Narayan Reddy will re­ceive a Philips Daily Col­lec­tion 1.25l Plas­tic Jar Blender from courts

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