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Vital to ensure judiciaries in the Pacific are properly appraised and equipped with relevant knowledge

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 26/07/2016)

It is important to ensure that judiciaries in the Pacific Region are properly apprised and equipped with relevant knowledge and skills in their judicial duties and functions when dealing with fisheries cases.

The statement was highlighted by the Chief Justice of Solomon Islands, Sir Alber Palmer during the Judicial Conference with the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency on a subject of Current and Emerging Technologies.

Information from the Forum Fishing Agency states the Chief Justice

says the Ocean and Fisheries Resources have always played a central role for our Pacific Islands people – in our culture, our food security and our economic development – as underlined by our Leaders.

However, the Illegal Fishing continues to be a major challenge in our region and threatens these core aspects.

So it is important to emphasize the following two fundamental points at the outset of our meeting to give the central role it plays in our way of life, the protection of our fisheries resources is central to our Pacific Islands people. Whether in the judiciary or working in fisheries we each have a part to play in ensuring that our fisheries resources are safeguarded.

Secondly, the cordial working relationship and cooperation between our countries continues to be strengthening in protecting our resources, particularly given the highly migratory nature of tuna and the vessels that fish for them. We can all share in the privilege and benefits of cooperation.

Courts play a key role in this effort to protect our fisheries resources and uphold the laws that secure and protect this limited resource. It is necessary that we, the judges are provided with sufficient, admissible evidence that can assist us in our work, so that in appropriate cases, where a conviction has been sustained, adequate penalties can be imposed.

The Judicial Seminar is an opportunity to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the current technologies that are being utilised to assist in protecting the fisheries resources, as well as to be apprised of the new emerging technologies that could be used in evidence before the judges.

Meantime the FFA Director-General James Movick emphasized the significant role of Judges in interpreting the law and administering justice according to the law.

He adds the current technologies and develop new technologies we need to be sure that our legal frameworks to utilize those technologies are update and sound.

The representative from Tonga is Magistrate Manamou’i Kaufusi the workshop will end tomorrow in Honiara.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016