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Ocean Law Bulletins

Fiji Marine Pollution Law Series - industrial pollution

Jul 9, 2018 / by James Sloan and Emily Samuela posted in Oceans Law, Fiji mangroves, Environmental Management Act 2005, Marine Conservation, Fiji Oceans, The Environment Management Act, Fiji's Constitution, Environmental governance, Fiji law, Nearshore Fiji fisheries, Fiji lawyers, Fiji marine pollution law, Fiji Environmental law

The major threats to our oceans are well understood, and include pollution from land based sources.

For a full list of the major threats to our oceans the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sets them out here and also explains that:

Untreated sewage, garbage, fertilizers, pesticides, industrial chemicals, plastics ... most of the pollutants on land eventually make their way into the ocean, either deliberately dumped there or entering from water run-off and the atmosphere. Not surprisingly, this pollution is harming the entire marine food chain - all the way up to humans.

In this second legal bulletin in the Fiji Marine Pollution Law Series, we consider Fiji’s legal and regulatory framework in relation to marine pollution from land based industrial or commercial activities. For those interested in this area, it should be noted that Mr Filimone Tuivanualevu who is admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of Fiji, has also published a legal bulletin entitled "How does the law protect rivers in Fiji from pollution?" which can be found here.

In further planned legal bulletins in this series we will consider Fiji's laws in relation to marine pollution from household waste and the potential civil liability that polluters who cause harm may incur based on common law negligence.

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Fiji has amended the Charitable Trusts Act to include "conservation" and rural electrification projects as a charitable purpose

Mar 22, 2018 / by Emily Samuela and James Sloan posted in Environmental governance, Fiji law, Fiji tax law, Fiji Charitable Trusts Act, Incorporation of not for profit

Under Fiji law, the Charitable Trusts Act, 1945 (Charitable Trusts Act) provides the legal process to incorporate (establish) a charitable trust. The incorporation of a charitable trust creates a legal "person" that may amongst other things: employ people, hold a bank account, secure office premises, enter contracts and sue and be sued.

To comply with section 2 of the Charitable Trusts Act, the proposed charitable trust must comply with one of the limited number of "charitable purpose[s]" set out in the Charitable Trusts Act. On Wednesday, 7 March 2018 by Legal Notice No. 14, the relevant Minister in exercise of his powers under the Charitable Trusts Act expanded the categories of "charitable purpose" to include:

· the conservation of the environment; and

· the provision of electricity to rural communities and households in Fiji that do not have such access.

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Fiji's Minister for Fisheries has created two new Marine Reserves with Regulations made under powers conferred by section 9 of the Fisheries Act, 1941

Jan 30, 2018 / by James Sloan posted in Marine Protected Areas, Fiji fisheries, Fisheries Act, Traditional fishing rights, Inshore fisheries, administrative law, Environmental decision making, Fiji law

On, Friday, 19th January 2018 by Legal Notices No. 3 and No. 4 the Honourable Minister for Fisheries exercised his powers pursuant to section 9 of the Fisheries Act, Cap 158 (Fisheries Act) to create two new marine reserves in inshore areas within Fiji’s fisheries waters.

The creation of the marine reserves has been by way of Regulations that are cited as:

Fisheries (Kiuva Marine Reserve) Regulations 2018
Fisheries (Naiqoro Passage Spawning Aggregation Marine Reserve) Regulations 2018.

In this legal bulletin we set out the powers that section 9 of the Fisheries Act provides to the Minister for Fisheries to create and declare marine reserves via Regulations. We also expand on the effect of these new Regulations that have been brought into force by being published (gazetted) in Fiji’s Government Gazette.

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

Jan 29, 2018 / by Ronlyn Sahib and James Sloan posted in Fiji Company Law, Fiji law, Fiji tax law, Fiji Charitable Trusts Act, Incorporation of not for profit

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.
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