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Justice Jitoko appointed Court of Appeal head

Justice Filimone Jitoko has been appointed President of the Court of Appeal.

He served as Chief Justice at the Nauru Supreme Court from 2017 till 2020 and he also served as the Registrar from 2015 till 2017.

He graduated from the University of the South Pacific in 1969, he spent one year at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand where he obtained a Bachelor in Law, and following that, he was admitted to the New Zealand Bar in 1978.

Justice Jitoko and three other newly appointed judicial officers were ceremoniously sworn in by His Excellency, President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere in the presence of Acting Chief Justice, Salesi Temo, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Siromi Turaga, Solicitor-General Ropate Green, and Chief Registrar Tomasi Bainivalu at the State House yesterday.

Justice Isikeli Mataitoga has been appointed Resident Justice of Appeal, Madam Justice Karen Clark is appointed Justice of Appeal and Justice Savenaca Banuve has been appointed Puisne Judge.

Justice Mataitoga is a seasoned diplomat and served as Fiji’s Ambassador to Japan, with accreditation to the Russian Federation, the Republic of the Philippines, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Brunei Darussalam.

A former High Court judge, Justice Mataitoga served in various positions within the judiciary. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the Victoria University of Wellington in 1981, New Zealand, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the Victoria University of Wellington in 1985.

He also served as Fiji’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from 1989 to 1993 and later took on the role of Solicitor-General from 1993 to 1996.

Clark joined the Crown Law Office in 1987 and was appointed Crown Counsel in 1988.

She led the Public Commercial team for six years before being appointed Deputy Solicitor-General in 2002.

As Crown Counsel and Deputy Solicitor-General, she appeared regularly in first-instance and appellate jurisdictions, including the Privy Council and Supreme Court, in commercial, constitutional, public law, company law, regulatory, tax, and resource management cases.

She has managed several significant large-scale litigation matters, including the landmark 198-day Equiticorp trial.

From 2015 to 2021, she was appointed a Judge of the High Court in 2015, and in that capacity, she exercised the full range of the High Court’s general and appellate jurisdiction, including presiding over numerous jury trials involving charges ranging from murder to fraud.

She was appointed a Justice of Appeal to the Court of Appeal of Fiji for three years in August of this year.

Clark earned a Bachelor of Law from Victoria University of Wellington in 1986 and became a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

Banuve was appointed Solicitor-General to the Government of Solomon Islands from 2013 to date.

He attained a Bachelor of Law, from the University of Tasmania in 1986 and a Master of Law from the University of Adelaide in 1995.

His expertise ranges from legal adviser to Government on constitutional, miscellaneous civil law practice and procedure matters.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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