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Commercial Law Updates

Amendments to the Public Health Act pave the way for the use of infringement notices for those failing to abide by public health laws

On 03 June 2021, the Parliament of Fiji passed the Public Health (Amendment) Act 2021. The Amendment Act introduces amendments (amendments) to Part 7 of the Public Health Act of 1935 (the Act) which deals with all matters relating to infectious diseases.

While the background and explanatory notes of the amendments relate largely to the current Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, the amendments in fact relate to all infectious diseases under Part 7 of the Act including Covid-19.

In this commercial law update we explain the amendments and provide our comments in relation to the amendments by way of guidance and to assist in the current situation that requires all Fijians to work together to do what we can to reduce the transmission of this virus and get back to the way we want to.

Update on Construction Contracts – Defect Liability Clauses

A recent judgment of the High Court of Fiji has discussed and clarified the operation and legal effect of defect liability clauses in construction contracts.

This Judgment adds to Fiji's jurisprudence for construction law and emphasizes the importance of construction law contracts particularly when things don't go to plan.

We provide a short update in relation to important legal points that have arisen from the High Court's Judgment. The Judgement was also reported in Fiji's national press here

Fiji Employment Law Update: Covid-19 has led to an amendment to the Employment Relations Act

The Fiji government's response to the public health crisis posed by Covid-19 has been swift, and remarkable. At the time of writing this response based on WHO advice has reduced the known cases of Covid 19 in Fiji to 3 active cases bringing the number down from a peak of 18. This is a notable achievement, but Fiji's success has come with a steep economic cost.  

In our firm's guidance to employers on 18 March 2020 (available here) published just before Fiji confirmed its first Covid-19 case, we noted that employers and employees may find solutions together to respond to the unprecedented situation. This is based on the premise that employers and employees have the option to work together in good faith to find compromises to employment relationships within the law. The unfortunate reality is that if an employer cannot afford meet wage obligations then employment will end for one reason or another. A little over 2 months after Fiji's first Covid-19 case many of us are aware of a number of Fiji employers who have had no choice but to terminate employment contracts, follow redundancy processes or seek to reduce wages. In exercising all of these options the employer still has the duty to act in good faith. 

On 28 May 2020, the Government of Fiji introduced a Bill before the Parliament of Fiji, Bill No. 12 of 2020, that has passed into law as the Employment Relations (Amendment) Act 2020 (“Amendment”). The Amendment has changed Fiji's employment law with the aim of addressing difficulties faced by businesses due to COVID-19. The intention behind the Bill was explained in the explanatory note to the Bill as “to provide for a more realistic work environment which enables the sustainability of jobs and businesses, and to clarify the meaning of “an act of God” in the Act during the COVID-19 period”.

This commercial law update outlines some of the major changes that this Amendment has made to the law, and how it relates to other sections of the Employment Relations Act 2007 (“ERA”) such as termination of employment and redundancy. 

This article is for information purposes only and is not and should not be relied upon as legal advice. We strongly recommend that any employer or employee concerned about an employment law problem or issue should seek legal advice.

Fiji Law in the time of Covid-19: Commercial Contract Management guidance in a time of uncertainty

Everyday life has been severely impacted by COVID-19, and even after the pandemic eases or ends we will have to adjust to new ways of conducting ourselves and our businesses. These are likely to include new methodologies to prepare ourselves better to ensure continuity of businesses, and safeguard the livelihoods of employees.

During these testing times, it is easy to overlook important deadlines, legal obligations and those terms and conditions under a contract which continue to run uninterrupted, and the fulfilment of which may be rendered impossible. This commercial law guidance briefly reviews what options may be available under a contract should businesses face difficulty in performing their contractual obligations.

Please note we provide general guidance only regarding commercial contractual obligations in the context of the current pandemic. This guidance does not cover employment contracts as these should be considered separately in accordance with the Employment Relations Act 2007.

Fiji Employment Law update: Covid-19 pandemic: guidance in a time of global economic downturn

At the time of writing there are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Fiji (following publication of this guidance, Fiji confirmed its first case on 19 March 2020). However the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are being felt in Fiji and particularly in the tourism sector. Through urgent action to prioritise public health that includes stringent measures to limit contact between people, certain countries or regions have been able to control the spread of Covid-19. However, the economic consequences of these sensible measures have been severe and sudden.

It is uncertain how long this period of economic downturn will last, and in this time businesses will have to adapt to survive by exploring innovative options that may include more remote working, less person to person meetings and individuals taking more responsibility to safeguard one another. Employers also have a duty to provide a safe working environment.

In this legal bulletin we provide general guidance from an employment perspective to assist employers and employees to do what they can to minimise the effects of the economic downturn and work within the requirements of Fiji employment law. This is provided from our firm as a small contribution to the current situation and while we hope it is of assistance, please note that it is provided for general guidance purposes only, and it is not intended to be, and nor should it be taken as, a substitute for legal advice.

Landmark Fiji Environmental Law Judgment finds TOTAL negligent and liable for pollution incident, upholding Fiji's Environment Management Act and the principle "Polluter Pays"

A unanimous decision of Fiji’s Court of Appeal Ramendra Prasad v Total (Fiji) Limited, Civil Appeal No. ABU 90 of 2018, 28 February 2020 (Lecamwasam, JA, Almedia Guneratne, JA, Jameel, JA) has found Total (Fiji) Limited (“TOTAL”) negligent and liable for a fuel leak that was discovered in September 2008 close to Nausori on the island of Viti Levu, in Fiji.

In finding TOTAL negligent, liable and responsible for an underground fuel leak, Fiji’s Court of Appeal has affirmed Fiji’s Environment Management Act, 2005, and the principle “polluter pays” as well as affirming the actions and findings of Fiji’s Department of Environment.

In this legal update we focus on the key legal principles affirmed by the Court of Appeal as they are significant in terms of Fiji’s environmental jurisprudence and good governance.

Fiji Planning law: Fiji’s government has announced new Town Planning Schemes may be adopted for Suva, Lautoka and Nadi - an opportunity for consultation and good decision making

In common with other common law jurisdictions, Fiji exercises State control over land including but not limited to how it may be developed. The regulation of development falls within the domain of planning and environmental law.

The government has announced that in the public interest it is in the process of updating its Town Planning Schemes for Suva, Lautoka and Nadi. This is an important nation building initiative because a Town Planning Scheme will shape future development in all these cities. But, it is also a significant undertaking that provides an opportunity for, and in our view, requires - wide consultation. If this consultative process is successful it will result in better planned development that along with the effective regulation of environmental standards, is essential to create sustainable and resilient cities and towns for Fiji’s future and its citizens' well-being.

In this update, we take a look at Fiji’s planning law framework and set out various reasons why it is vital for Fiji’s citizens to become involved in the consultation process that is being led by the Ministry for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development to create and adopt new Town Planning Schemes.

The reasons that public involvement is vital include but are not limited to:

  • the significance of Town Planning Schemes to the way planning law and decisions operate in Fiji law
  • the fact that the decisions made pursuant to Town Planning Schemes will have far reaching effects on all citizens, and may affect existing property rights
  • Town Planning Schemes should be suited to Fiji’s context and linked to a shared and bold vision for Fiji’s future.

Each citizen who becomes involved in this consultative process has an opportunity to provide her/his views on how Fiji’s towns and cities should develop to improve but also what aspects of Fiji’s culture and values should be part of that future too.

Fiji Employment Law Update, Redundancy: Employers have a duty to act in good faith and must follow the requirements of Fiji law

Redundancies are, unfortunately, a fact of life. For the most part they occur because an employer wants to restructure to adapt to a changing business environment. This adaptation means that new roles may be created in, or old roles removed from the employer's organisation. It is the removal of roles (or job positions) within the employer's organisation that leads to that role becoming redundant. When the role is removed the employee in that role is affected, and his or her employment contract terminated, by reason of the redundancy.

Fiji law recognises that employers are entitled to restructure their operations and make roles within their organisations redundant. But Fiji law also regulates this process by amongst other things: restricting the reasons that may justify a redundancy; setting out a redundancy process that must be followed; and setting a minimum standard for the redundancy package that must be given to the employee who may be terminated by reason of redundancy at the end of this process.

In this commercial law update, we provide more information on the minimum standards that employers must follow. But because this is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied on as such - all employers who may be contemplating redundancies should consult a lawyer first. It must also be remembered that at all times all employers owe a duty to treat their employees with good faith, and the redundancy process under Fiji law must not be used as a disguise to terminate employees. Getting this process wrong, can be an expensive mistake, and we briefly discuss recent case law in this regard from a jurisdiction outside Fiji.

Employment Law: The disciplinary Investigation, why it’s important and how to do one properly

Taking disciplinary action against an employee is perhaps the most challenging task for an employer. This is because in most cases of employee wrongdoing the employer must assume the technical roles of investigator, prosecutor and judge while owing an overriding duty to treat the employee fairly. The body of employment law in Fiji shows that employers can pay a high price for getting any of these stages wrong.

In this commercial law update, we consider the first stage of the disciplinary process - being the investigation to establish the facts of the matter. While in Fiji this stage is usually conducted by the employer, in other jurisdictions, like Australia, NZ, and Malaysia, an employer may seek a qualified third party to undertake an investigation.

In January 2019, the Fiji Law Society organised and hosted the LawAsia Employment Law Forum during which a senior employment lawyer, Mr Brian C Willamson distilled his many years of expert knowledge into a presentation about how to conduct disciplinary investigations to be “effective and fair”. While, it is likely that most employers due to limited resources and qualified investigators will still have to undertake their own investigations, Mr. Williamson’s detailed and expert knowledge provides valuable insights into this process.

Migrant workers: legal and other challenges for Fiji and the Pacific

The movement of migrant workers isn’t so much a global hot topic as a burning one. At the LAWASIA Employment Law Forum, 25-26 January, 2019, the key note presentations aimed to address Migrant Labour Issues: The Rights of Migrant Workers and the Obligations of Employers. An objective of this session was to share among delegates how migrant labour is regulated and what challenges are experienced in various Asia Pacific jurisdictions.

This commercial law update is based on the key note presentation provided to the conference to provide an overview of how migrant labour is regulated in Fiji and the Pacific. Due to time constraints for the key note presentations this update expands on some of the themes discussed during the key note presentation at the conference.

For more information on LAWASIA please see here

Fiji Employment Law: Employers owe the same employment law duties to employees recruited from overseas and jurisdictional limit of the Tribunal is $40,000

This commercial law update discusses a recent decision from Fiji’s Employment Relations Tribunal (“Tribunal”) which outlines important issues on jurisdictional limits and international labour contracting. The case of Daniel Sanchez v Sheraton Resort Fiji was decided by the Tribunal on 16 January 2019, and involved an expatriate chef employed by a large resort.

The Tribunal in awarding $37,670.00 to a Mexican national, Mr. Sanchez, set out important principles regarding:

  • the fair treatment of workers recruited from outside the Fiji jurisdiction
  • applied the same standards of Fiji law to Mr. Sanchez regardless of his nationality and
  • set an important precedent for the Tribunal's own jurisdictional limits.

UPDATE - Workmen's Compensation (Repeal) Act 2018 is now in effect

 On Christmas Eve, 2018, the Fiji Government Gazette published a notice of commencement for the Workmen’s Compensation (Repeal) Act 2018, along with an amendment to the Schedule for the Accident Compensation Act adding accidents arising out of and in the course of employment and accidents occurring on school premises or during school events to those covered by the Accident Compensation Act.

In July 2018 we provided an update on the Workmen's Compensation (Repeal) Act which can be found here - this update explained how it would work but it is important for employers and schools to understand the legal implications of the new Act and Regulations.

In this commercial law update we provide a brief update on the effect of the new law and regulations.

Fiji Employment Law: when summary dismissal of an employee goes wrong

Pursuant to Fiji law, in situations of serious employee misconduct the employer has two choices, either:

  • a summary dismissal for cause (as set out in section 33 of the Employment Relations Act) when the employer is certain of the facts and those facts warrant immediate termination of employment; or
  • to undertake a disciplinary inquiry to ascertain all the facts and then, if those facts are proven, take appropriate disciplinary action that may include termination of employment, suspension from employment or written warning.

In both situations, the employer is acting “for cause” and, if the employer terminates the employee’s employment, must provide the employee with written reasons for the termination of employment at the time of termination.

In this employment law update we consider summary dismissal (on the spot termination without a disciplinary inquiry process) and note that a recent judgement of Sanjay Lal v Carpenters Fiji Limited (Sanjay Lal v Carpenters) issued from the Employment Relations Court (“ERC”) on 10 August 2018 provides some useful guidance from the ERC in relation to summary dismissal.

In a previous commercial legal update we provided some general information regarding the employer's duties relating to dismissing an employee for misconduct. This update can be found: here

Fiji Construction Law Series: Who is liable for sub-standard quality of materials in a construction project?

There have been concerns raised recently within the Fiji construction industry regarding the importation of substandard structural steel for use in construction projects in Fiji.

What happens if substandard quality materials are used in construction projects in Fiji and who is legally responsible?

In this commercial law update, we look at the legal position in relation to substandard materials and warranties implied by law in contracts for works and materials.

Steps to take to avoid a Will being challenged and declared invalid

Every person over the age of 18 should have a Will, as without one, a person dies in a state of intestacy, meaning that where the deceased person’s property goes must be determined by the State in accordance with legal principles related to intestacy.

A well drafted Will is a legal document that enables a person (known as the Testator) to ensure that his or her wishes are respected after death with regard to how property owned by the Testator is distributed.

In Fiji, to be a valid Will it must comply with the Wills Act, 1972 which includes the requirement that the Testator’s intentions must be witnessed by two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the Will. The strict legal formalities that lead to the formation of a valid Will are why it is advisable to seek a lawyer’s advice before the Will is prepared. The engagement of a private lawyer is not necessary, as the Legal Aid Commission may also provide competent advice in this regard, although before engaging any lawyer (public or private) it is important to understand what charges may apply to administer the estate via what is known as a grant of probate. Probate is the process by which the appointed executors of the Will are appointed by the High Court of Fiji to execute the Will of the Testator in favour of the persons who will benefit from the Testator’s wishes (Beneficiaries).

In this commercial law update we provide some general guidance (not legal advice) on how to minimise the chances of a Will being challenged and overturned by the Court.

Brave New World for Workmen’s Compensation Claims – What does this mean for employers and employees?

Parliament has recently passed the Workmen’s Compensation (Repeal) Act 2018 (Act No 30 of 2018). As indicated by its name, it repeals the original Workmen’s Compensation Act 1964 and replaces it with a new regime from 1 January 2019.

Although the date of commencement of the Act is yet to be gazetted (so it is not in force at the date of writing this commercial law update), the effect of the Act is likely to mean that from 1 January 2019 Workmen’s Compensation claims must be brought before and handled by the Accident Compensation Commission (“ACC”) established pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 2017.

In this commercial law update we briefly consider what this will mean for employees and employers in relation to workplace accidents.

Fiji Employment Law Update: recent changes employers in Fiji should prepare for

The budget announcement on 28 June 2018 saw a number of budget amendment bills amending a number of existing legislation. This employment law update will focus on Bill No.21 of 2018, currently cited as the Employment Relations (Budget Amendment) Act 2018 (“amendment Act”), one out of the fourteen consequential bills that will give effect to the 2018/2019 national budget.

Bill No.21 of 2018 was enacted in Parliament on 12 July 2018, and saw the inclusion of Family care leave and Parental leave provisions in the current Employment Relations Act 2007 (“Act”). The amendments suggest Government’s intentions of supporting working parents and promoting work life balance into Fiji’s current work force.

The amendment Act, is not yet in force, and in this commercial law update we set out what Fiji employers should prepare for now as it seems likely that the amendment Act will be brought into force imminently. In accordance with the usual principles of Fiji employment law, the Act sets out minimum statutory standards that all Fiji employers may exceed but may not fall below.

What is the effect of Fiji’s Online Safety Act, 2018?

Connectivity has made the access to information easier in this modern age, but it has also led to the increase in harmful online behavior such as cyberbullying, cyber stalking, internet trolling and exposure to offensive or harmful content, amongst other things. After much debate, Fiji has introduced the Online Safety Act, 2018 (the “Act”) to promote online safety and deter adverse online behavior and misuse of personal information. While it was enacted on 18 May 2018, it will not come into effect until the commencement date is gazetted.

At the date of writing the Online Safety Act has not appeared in the Fiji Government Gazette and therefore the legislation is not, as yet, in force. We will amend this update when it is “gazetted”.

In this commercial law update, we consider how this newly-introduced Act is intended to work.

Fiji Immigration Law: Recent policy change on 14 day business permits

In our Commercial Law update issued on 28 January, 2018 we provided an update on the policy changes made by the Immigration Department regarding work permits which can be found here

This further update specifically addresses recent policy changes by the Immigration Department to the 14 days business permit that may, once issued, be extended up to 3 months. This policy change by Fiji's Immigration Department means that it has now reverted to its original policy that enables 14 days business permits be extended for a period of up to 3 months by operation of section 9 (2) (c) of the Immigration Act 2003. 

Fiji Construction Law Series: Outline of Common Areas of Risk in Construction Contracts

Each construction contract has its own different areas of risk.

In this commercial law update, we consider only the general areas in which risks can arise and need to be managed in a construction contract.

Fiji Construction Law Series: Negotiating a Construction Contract and some Basic Points to Note

The best way of ensuring the efficient management of your risk in a construction contract is to negotiate the management and allocation of those risks during the negotiations stage.

The more effort the parties put into ensuring a properly managed and allocated risk profile during the process of negotiation, the more chance there is of the parties avoiding otherwise preventable situations during the implementation of a contract.

In this commercial law update we set out how to negotiate a construction law contract and provide some basic points to note.

Fiji Construction Law Series: An overview of construction contracts and other relevant law that applies to construction projects

Construction projects take time to deliver and typically involve multiple parties, including a contractor and professional advisors.

Construction contracts have evolved to large documents that balance risk and reward and set out the processes that must be followed as the construction develops. Despite their apparent complexity the legal principles that underpin a construction contract are the same contract law principles that underpin any other legal contract.

In this update we briefly consider the legal principles and law that common law jurisdictions apply to construction projects.

Fiji Construction Law Series: How Do You Allocate Risk in a Commercial Contract?

Risk Allocation

This commercial law update looks at the principles behind efficient risk allocation in a contract and how, a lack of understanding of these principles, might lead to unintended consequences.

Every contract is essentially a sharing or allocation of risk, responsibility, and reward between the parties. It is not sufficient for commercial lawyers to rely on template contracts or checklists because to understand and assist with a commercial transaction requires an understanding of the risks involved. A thorough understanding of risk will assist with the provision of informed legal advice and a contract that may avoid, reduce or fairly allocate risk.

This legal update considers the key questions that arise in terms of the allocation of risk: how should the risks be shared? Is there an efficient way of sharing risk? What considerations should be taken into account when deciding which party should take on which risk in a contract?

Fiji has a new no fault Accident and Compensation framework, but how will it work?

After many years and a large volume of legal proceedings over personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from road accidents, Fiji has decided not just to update its legislation but to completely overhaul its system, by mandating a ‘no fault’ system of compensation in place of motor vehicle third party insurance.

The Legislation that came into force on 1 January 2018 is – The Accident Compensation Act 2017 (the “Act”) and related regulations

In this commercial law update we analyse how the new legal framework of 'no fault' compensation is intended to work and highlight some grey areas.

Fiji Hotel and Tourism Industry Investment: summary of tax incentives

Fiji has various industry specific tax concessions, available under the 2017 to 2018 Budget, designed to encourage economic growth and much needed investment in certain sectors.

In this update we look at the tax incentives available in the tourism sector, particularly in hotel investment, and set out a brief outline of what tax benefits investors in this sector could enjoy.

How to incorporate a non-profit entity as a charitable trust or company limited by guarantee under Fiji law

As at 2018, there are about seventeen (17) regional and international organisations with offices in Fiji. Some of these not only oversee Fiji programs but also programs in the region and in other Pacific Island Countries.

Apart from these regional and international organisations, there are a multitude of other non-profit entities in Fiji working in areas including protecting the natural environment, children's rights and women's rights. Some of these organisations are not registered in Fiji and operate by way of a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Fiji while others are registered as charitable trusts, as branch offices or as companies limited by guarantee.

There are benefits for non-profit entities by establishing a legal entity under Fiji law and the aim of this bulletin is to consider the two most suitable ways to establish (incorporate) a non-profit entity under Fiji law. These are as a:

  • Charitable trust; or
  • Company limited by guarantee.

 

Fiji Immigration law: Policy change regarding extension of business permits

As of 16 January 2018, the Fiji Immigration Department will no longer accept the following applications:

  • Short term work permit application – a type of permit given to an applicant for a term up to six months where the employer can show that the applicant’s expertise and knowledge is required urgently in Fiji; and
  • Extension of 14-day business visa – an extension of up to three (3) months granted by operation of Section 9 (2) (c) of the Immigration Act 2003.

We briefly update on this change in Fiji Immigration policy.

Fiji Land Law update: Legal requirements for the assignment of indigenous (iTaukei) land leases

Fiji has 3 types of land title ownership that are regulated in accordance with the Land Transfer Act. This provides a system of title by registration that accords with the Torrens Title System and bestows an indefeasible title on anyone who registers their title in accordance with the Land Transfer Act, in the absence of actual fraud.

Fiji’s system of written titles and different types of land ownership is not only unique in terms of protecting indigenous land ownership but it also provides Fiji with an advantage over most other Pacific Island States. This is because, in accordance with the Torrens Title System, Fiji, has a system of recorded titles that the State guarantees. This system provides certainty of title which reduces disputes over land ownership and benefits commerce and investment.

In this legal update we briefly set out the 3 types of Fiji land ownership, and update on a recent development in relation to the requirements for the lawful assignment of iTaukei leases.

Fiji Company Law Update: Liquidators must be registered with the Ministry of Justice in accordance with section 410 of the Companies Act 2015

A company is not a natural person and it is created by operation of law. In Fiji the Companies Act 2015 regulates Fiji companies and this includes how a company is created (incorporation) and how it ceases to be (dissolution).

A company may be dissolved either voluntarily or because it cannot meet the demands of its creditors and pay its debts. However, the law attempts to provide an orderly process when this happens, known as winding up.

When a company is wound up a liquidator is appointed who should act with professional efficiency to collect all the assets and settle all claims prior to the formal dissolution of the company. In this update, we highlight the recent changes to the Companies Act that aim to increase the regulation of liquidators by providing stricter requirements on who may be appointed as a liquidator.

Fiji employment law: When can an employer dismiss an employee for misconduct?

Fiji's employment law, like that of other common law jurisdictions, is a mix of statutory rights and common law principles. Fiji's Employment Relations Act, provides every employee with clear minimum standards in relation to conditions like leave, hours of work and minimum contract terms that an employer may exceed but cannot fall below.

However, when it comes to dismissing an employee for misconduct an employer must not only consider the Act but also the employee's contract of employment and what the common law sets out an employer must do to accord the employee with a fair process and decision before the dismissal. In situations of employee misconduct this can be difficult to do as emotions may be running high but the employer must still apply the law and often the best course of conduct is not to rush to a final decision.

In this update we consider a recent judgment from the Employment Relations Tribunal that sets out the tests that the employer must meet when terminating an employee for cause. A good understanding of these legal tests and what the Employment Relations Tribunal wants in terms of a fair disciplinary process will assist the employer to reach the right decision, as well as minimise legal risk and the chances of an employee being unfairly dismissed.

Fiji Land Law: The Court of Appeal has upheld the Torrens title system by confirming indefeasibility of title includes a volunteer under a will

Fiji's Land Transfer Act, Cap 131, confers an indefeasible title to land on any proprietor who registers the title in accordance with the Land Transfer Act. There is only one exception that can defeat a registered title and this arises where it can be shown that the registered proprietor obtained the title by actual fraud.

In this legal bulletin we explain the law in relation to indefeasibility of title which includes consideration of leading case authorities from New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. We also discuss a recent Fiji Court of Appeal case authority that confirms that a registered proprietor of land has indefeasibility of title whether he or she is a purchaser of the title or obtains the title as a volunteer under a will.

A law change to building permit applications in Fiji will increase efficiency but what are the impacts for good decision making?

In Fiji law the requirement for building permits for new buildings within cities and towns and any other areas “gazetted" by the relevant Minister derives from regulations made pursuant to section 39 of the Public Health Act 1935. A building permit is issued by the local authority and is required prior to the lawful construction of any building. Depending on a building proposed, its location and other factors like environmental impacts, the local authority may not be able to issue the building permit until approvals are issued from other government ministries or departments.

On 14 July 2017, the Fiji Parliament enacted the Regulation of Building Permits Act 2017 (“RBPA”) which aims to streamline the process for obtaining a building permit.

In this bulletin we consider the implications of the RBPA both for developers but also in terms of the potential impacts on good decision making for Fiji’s natural resources and those who may be adversely affected by development decisions.

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