Legal aid services accessible on island

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama speaks tovillagera on Taveuni yesterday. Picture Serafina Silaitoga

PEOPLE on Taveuni will be able to access legal services and will no longer travel to Labasa or Suva in search of lawyers.

In opening the new Legal Aid Commission office on Taveuni yesterday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said the islanders faced similar challenges that rural dwellers experienced with legal services.

“The obstacles you faced have been knocked to the ground,” he said.

“Our legal aid officers are a capable and comforting voice of legal expertise, provided free of charge as well as a source of legal representation for families who qualify for assistance.”

Mr Bainimarama said the provision of such services was not a charity act.

“This is the realisation of the constitutional rights of every Fijian, the right of equal access to justice,” he said.

“If your family earns less than $15,000 a year, you can obtain free legal representation in family and criminal matters. Expanding access to justice are being made possible by an unprecedented spending commitment from my Government including the $10.4 million allocated in the financial year.”

Mr Bainimarama also opened the office of the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry.

Again, he said, people no longer needed to travel to Labasa to get this done.

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