Foreign support for Pacific Courts as a development issue

Posted on 12 April 2022

Pacific island states are unusual, but not alone, in relying on foreign judges to sit on their highest courts. Across the nine Commonwealth states of Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, over three-quarters of the judges serving since 2000 have been foreign judges.
A new book by Anna Dziedzic, Foreign Judges in the Pacific, explores what the use of foreign judges means for how Pacific courts operate, how they make decisions, and how they are connected to the wider community. An overlap between foreign judging and development assistance can also be seen in the terms and conditions for the employment of foreign judges, which in turn has implications for judicial independence.