17 DECEMBER 2010 SUVA (RRRT)
Pacific courts' use of human rights norms was discussed at great length at the recent Secretariat of the Pacific Community / Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team (SPC/RRRT) Pacific Judges and Magistrate Consultation in Auckland, New Zealand.
In the past 10 years, there has been a rise in the number of cases where human rights treaties such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) have been applied by Pacific judges and magistrates.
'Federated States of Micronesia has taken necessary steps for the recognition, perpetuation and enforcement of human rights. While much has been done, more should, and must be done, to assure the human rights of the people of the Federated States of Micronesia,' said Hon Justice Dennis K. Yamase during the consultation.
Justice Yamase reminded his colleagues that judges and magistrates play a critical role in ensuring that rights within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are fully realised.
The Chief Justice of Tonga, Justice Michael Scott also shared his thoughts on human rights in the judicial process.
'I would like to suggest that rather than seeking to introduce ever more sophisticated and technical refinement into our understanding of human rights in the judicial process, the focus in the Pacific should be first on education,' he said.
The representatives of the Pacific Islands judiciary were attending the consultation reviewing human rights issues, including disability rights and legislation on violence against women. The three-day consultation ended on 15 December.
The consultation was organised and hosted by SPC/RRRT and funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
RRRT is an SPC programme that provides human rights training, technical support, and policy and advocacy services tailored specifically for the Pacific region....PNS (ENDS)
For further information, please contact Seema Naidu, SPC/RRRT Human Rights Trainer, Fiji +(679) 330-5582 NZ +(64)9 337-0349 (Dec. 10–14) or email: [email protected].