Coral Coast, Fiji – “I welcome you all to this training, in which you have prepared presentations according to your expertise. This is an exciting opportunity to flag issues of interest, for the attention of all, so that we can be aware of them, learn from your expertise, and do more research into these very important matters,” said Honourable Chief Justice, Mr. Anthony Gates, opening this year’s Judicial Department Criminal Law Workshop for High Court Judges and Magistrates.
12 Judges and 30 Magistrates from the Fijian Judiciary attended an internal workshop on criminal law to further develop their legal skills and ability to deliver effective justice to the people of Fiji. The Judicial Department Annual Criminal Law Workshop was conducted on 1-3 August at the Warwick Hotel, supported by the Fiji Access to Justice Project.
The Fiji Access to Justice Project supports access to justice for impoverished and vulnerable groups by empowering people to access legal rights and services through key justice institutions and strengthening those institutions to improve justice service delivery. The Fiji Access to Justice Project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji.
The project works closely with the Judicial Department to improve access to justice and judicial accountability for Fijian citizens. Current support to the Judicial Department and Legal Aid Commission focusses on piloting online case management and e-filing systems, launching newly completed strategic plans, and strengthening access to quality capacity building opportunities that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of judicial service delivery.
Acting Head of Delegation a.i. of the European Union Delegation for the Pacific Mr. Corrado Pampaloni applauded the initiative, stating “Today's Criminal Law Workshop represents another milestone in the right direction, and the EU is delighted to be in a position to support such an important initiative. The cooperation among key criminal justice stakeholders demonstrates a strong willingness and commitment to foster genuine dialogue in the sector and strengthen referral mechanisms and constructive collaboration throughout the justice criminal chain.”
UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Country Director and Head of Regional Policy and Programme Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov said “The focus of this workshop, criminal justice is instrumental in achieving accountability and promoting peace and equality in society. Equal access to independent and impartial justice is key to the realization of human rights.”
The EU-funded Fiji Access to Justice Project will run until the end of 2020.
Andrew Harrington, Programme Manager, Access to Justice, Rule of Law and Human Rights, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; tel: +679 3227-581; email: firstname.lastname@example.org;