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By TALEBULA KATE
The Fijian Judiciary must keep away from politics and must be very cautious in their judgments, a workshop was told yesterday.
In opening the three-day mediation workshop at the Holiday Inn Suva, Chief Justice Anthony Gates said: “We must keep away from politics as far as we can; we are if you like stuck with some legislations which are not what we would like but we are not the legislators and never will be.
“We must keep away from legislating; we have to be cautious in our judgments if they have the effect of intruding on the roles of parliament or the legislators,” he said.
Chief Justice Gates said it was important to encourage the bar to get into mediation as it would allow for managing conflicts and resolving disputes.
“I believe this is a wonderful thing and it’s very important that we are concerned with training in this field,” he said.
He said mediation was a quick and easy solution to many problems.
“Once the judiciary understands it, and then the judiciary won’t feel that their cases are taken off them, but this is the way to go, this is the way to solve people’s problems,” he said.
“We feel that if people can go for mediation then it is not only faster, it’s cheaper and some of it can be done pre-dispute and it is less corrosive to relationships.”
Justice Gates also believes there will be a full set of rights in Fiji in time that it is important to carry out the important work of the judiciary and they should not have to walk away just because of criticisms from some organisations.
The workshop is facilitated by two professionals from the Singapore Mediation Centre and is titled: ‘Managing Conflicts and Resolving Disputes Effectively through Mediation’.