Fiji And EU Sign New “Access To Justice” Program Designed To Enhance The Justice System

5 year program aimed to empower Fijians through access to legal services, particularly targeting vulnerable and marginalized groups

By Sonal Shivangani

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, August 29, 2016) – The Fijian Government and  the European Union (EU) today signed the new “Fiji Access to Justice” programme which is designed to enhance the justice system in the country and provide more access for underprivileged and vulnerable groups.

Speaking at the launch of the programme at Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva, EU Ambassador to Fiji, Mr Andrew Jacobs said access to justice was a fundamental principle of the rule of law.

“A clear understanding of the role of specific public offices, such as the Judiciary, the Legal Aid Commission and other transparency and accountability institutions, are paramount in ensuring that law justice prevail and citizens fully exercise their rights and responsibilities,” said Ambassador Jacobs.

Chief Justice Anthony Gates said the partnership aims to facilitate better access to justice for all citizens and inhabitants and to strength the justice overall systems in Fiji.

“Our endeavours under this programme will be aimed to improve efficiency, ease of use, fairness, the correct application of the law, and by new or improved ventures, both technologies and systems, to provide the necessary modern aids for the task,” said Chief Justice Gates.

Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayium said the programme was a significant boost to the Government’s continuing efforts to provide adequate access to justice for as many Fijians as possible.

“Whether it is access to legal aid or a range of other services, Fijians now enjoy more access to justice than at any other time in our history,” he said.

The five year programme is aimed to empower more Fijians by providing them with legal services through key justice institutions.

The programmes worth $7 million Euros [US$7,834,000] is being funded by the EU under the 11th European Development Fund would be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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