New justices for Nauru

The Government of Nauru has announced the country’s new judicial appointments.

The current Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nauru, Filimone Jitoko, has been appointed the new Chief Justice, replacing his Honour Chief Justice Joni Madraiwiwi, who passed away last September following a short illness.

His Honour Justice Jitoko, a former Judge (2002-2009) and Registrar (1985-1987) of the High Court of Fiji, was also the Solicitor General of Fiji and held the position of Secretary to the Fijian Cabinet (1993-1996).

In welcoming his appointment, Minister for Justice David Adeang said that Justice Jitoko’s extensive judicial experience would be invaluable and would greatly assist the Nauru judiciary as it seeks to build capacity and strengthen the rule of law.

“Justice Jitoko is widely respected in the region as a jurist of integrity, who while being a fearless champion of judicial independence, understands the complex cultural settings in which the law must be applied and interpreted,” said Mr Adeang.

Justice Lesa Va’ai has been appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nauru for a three-year term.

From 2000-2017, His Honour sat on the Bench of the Supreme Court of Samoa and occasionally on the Samoa Court of Appeal. Prior to that, he was a practicing barrister and solicitor in New Zealand.

His Honour was also a Judge of the District Court Samoa (1996-2000) and had jurisdiction to sit in the Supreme Court and Land & Titles Appeals Court.

Justice Va’ai is a former President of the Samoa Law Society and a graduate of Auckland University Law School (1973).

Justice Khan, who is a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nauru, has had his current term extended for three years.