Suva, Fiji – As Fiji emerges and recovers from the ravages of COVID-19 having reached close to 90 percent double vaccination of the adult population, there has also been a continuing demand for justice in Fiji’s Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court and Magistrate’s Court as people seek to resolve mounting legal issues.

To serve the expectations for people centered justice as part of the COVID-19 recovery and improve people’s experiences in their justice journeys, judges in Fiji continue their efforts to improve the provision of judicial services with more efficient and accountable procedures. This is being done through the annual learning programme conducted by the Judicial Department.

The three-day intense programme commenced today with 17 judges and three masters attending the expertise and knowledge exchange sessions across key areas of judicial practice. This first programme bringing together judges in Fiji after the second wave of COVID-19 is supported by the Fiji Access to Justice Project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Honourable Chief Justice Mr Kamal Kumar said that the Annual Judges Conference provided judges with a professional learning opportunity on selected key topics and issues, from which judges were expected to update and upgrade their expertise through engaging in knowledge exchange, case studies and discussions over the three-day sessions.

“Improved access to justice is crucial more than ever for people and Fiji society particularly in this current situation, where every individual is making efforts to recover from the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this sense, judges are at the forefront of the nationwide recovery efforts. It is our mission to ensure a judicial system that is accessible, efficient, effective and transparent,” said Hon. Justice Kumar.

The Honourable Chief Justice Mr Kamal Kumar (Photo: UNDP)
Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Dr. Erja Askola (Photo: UNDP)


Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Dr. Erja Askola commended the strong initiative of Fijian Judges headed by Chief Justice. “The European Union upholds rule of law and people’s right to access to justice as a basis of social contract. Therefore, it is our commitment to support capacity building of Judges in Fiji for stronger and more people-centered justice system.”

The Fiji Access to Justice Project supports Fiji’s advancement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, with focus on Goal 16.

Levan Bouadze, Resident Representative of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji said that people-centered justice is part of key commitments under Goal 16.

“The proportion of the population who have experienced a dispute in the past two years and who accessed a formal or informal dispute resolution mechanism, by type of mechanism (16.3.3) is one of the components to measure the level of rule of law and equal access to justice for all. People’s trust in formal justice system is so important for cohesive and inclusive recovery process from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“In strong partnership with the EU and the Judicial Department of Fiji, UNDP stays committed to supporting people and institutions to build forward better and towards achieving Goal 16,” said Mr Bouadze.

The Fiji Access to Justice Project supports access to justice for impoverished or vulnerable groups. It does so by empowering people to access their legal rights and services, strengthening key justice institutions to deliver improved services, and strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations to deliver justice accompaniment services.

The three-day intense programme commenced today with 17 judges and three masters attending the expertise and knowledge exchange sessions across key areas of judicial practice. (Photo: UNDP)


For media queries, please contact:

Judicial Department, Eteswa Deo; email: eteswadeo31@gmail.com; phone: +679 3211747 or mobile: +679 9922492/8419928

UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Tomoko Kashiwazaki, Advocacy and Outreach; email: tomoko.kashiwazaki@undp.org; phone: +679 715 8051

European Union: Communications Unit, Kamni Narayan; email: Kamni.NARAYAN@eeas.europa.eu; phone: +679 3313 633, ext. 115 or Mohammed-Nazeem Kasim; email: Mohammed-Nazeem.KASIM@eeas.europa.eu; phone: +679 3313 633 ext. 110 or mobile: +679 9920 597

Icon of SDG 03 Icon of SDG 16 Icon of SDG 17

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Pacific Office 
Go to UNDP Global