Konrote lauds expansion services by State

Participants during a break at the 20th Attorney-General’s Conference at Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa in Sigatoka yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

LAWS do not mean anything unless they are able to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable in the society.

This was the message from President Jioji Konrote to about 600 lawyers at the 20th Attorney-General’s Conference yesterday.

He said in this regard, Government’s commitment to provide access to legal services to all Fijians was unparalleled.

“I am extremely proud that this Government has overseen such an unprecedented expansion of legal aid services in Fiji for that very reason,” he said.

“We have opened another five offices this year, increasing the total number of offices where Fijians can access the law throughout Fiji to 15.

“This number is scheduled to increase to 21 legal aid offices within the next seven months.

“In the past year alone, over 40,000 low-income Fijians have taken advantage of a wide range of free services that these offices provide.

“These tens of thousands of Fijians, previously unrepresented and left alone without knowing the benefits that law can afford, now have accessed free consultations in the areas of family, criminal, and civil law, in addition to free legal advice, assisting with document witnessing, dealing with probate matters, and helping them navigate landlord-tenant issues.

“This achievement is equally as important as new parliamentary Acts; because in the end, the laws that are passed to protect the most vulnerable among us would not be worth the paper they are written on if they are not wielded on behalf of those who need it.”

Day one of the conference involved discussions on international arbitration, paperless contracts and building environmentally friendly and progressive cities.

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