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By JYOTI PRATIBHA
The Employment Relations Court (ERC) does not have the jurisdiction to hear matters transferred by the Employment Relations Tribunal (ERT).
High Court Judge Justice Anjala Wati made the statement while delivering the ruling of former Flying Fijians coach, Ilivasi Tabua.
On March last year, the ERT had found that Tabua was unlawfully and unfairly terminated by the Fiji Rugby Union.
It ordered that he be reimbursed part of the wages lost as a result of the grievance.
The matter was transferred to the ERC to fix a quantum for the costs awarded by the Tribunal.
The transfer was made under the speculation that the award may exceed $40,000, which is beyond the monetary jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
Justice Wati said that the Tribunal has “power to adjudicate on all matters within its jurisdiction relating to claims up to $40,000”.
Tabua had sought more than $40,000 in damages and since the Tribunal felt that it did not have the powers to award more than $40,000, it had elected to transfer the matter before the court for fixing of the quantum.
She said the Tribunal was a “creature of statute”.
Justice Wati said the circumstances where the Tribunal can transfer proceedings after it was heard and determined the matter is when the Tribunal believes that the fine may go beyond $2000 or the term of imprisonment may go beyond two years.