Expatriate Judge contracts under review

January 4, 2024 5:53 am

Attorney General Siromi Turaga [File Photo]

Attorney-General Siromi Turaga has indicated a shift in Fiji’s judiciary, hinting at the non-renewal of contracts for expatriate court judges once their terms expire.

Highlighting the success of a localization policy within the Ministry of Justice, Turaga highlights that 85 per cent of court judges are now locals.

Out of the 22 High Court judges, 14 are local while eight are expatriates.

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Turaga has emphasized that upon the expiry of terms, the future tenure of expatriate judges would be reconsidered aiming to maintain a balance or to prioritize local appointments.

Regarding Masters in the High Court, where two expatriates from Sri Lanka currently serve alongside one local, the AG outlined a similar approach.

Turaga says that upon the completion of their three-year terms, these positions will also be open to consideration for localization given the substantial pool of local legal talent.

This move, Turaga says signifies efforts to transition towards a more locally-led judiciary while considering the expertise and qualifications necessary for judicial roles.