Workshop to train Small Claims Tribunal referees

07/12/2011 09:31

The Consumer Council of Fiji will be holding a two day workshop focusing on training Small Claims Tribunal [SCT] referees on consumer protection laws on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th December at JJ’s on the Park. This workshop is funded by European Union and Australian Aid.

SCT was established to provide prompt and inexpensive relief to claimants where its primary function is to attempt to bring the disputed parties to an agreed settlement avoiding prolong court proceedings. SCT monetary claims are specified to a maximum of $5000.

The main objective of this workshop is to train 12 Small Claims Tribunal referees to better understand the use of consumer protection laws in promoting the development of fair and effective dispute resolution and monetary compensation for losses incurred by consumers in Fiji.

The workshop is targeting SCT referees because it is one of the quickest redress mechanisms available in Fiji through which many consumers benefit every year. The Council believes that this training on consumer protection legislation will better equip the SCT referees to effectively deal with day to day consumer issues they preside.  Understanding the law better would enable these referees to make fair and just decisions. This will ultimately enhance consumer confidence in seeking redress from SCT.

Workshop key focus areas are Sale of Goods Act, Second Hand Dealers Act, Introduction of the Consumer Credit Act, Understanding the Basics of Hire Purchase, General Overview of the Commerce Commission Decree, Consumer Protection and Unfair Practices, Restrictive Trade Practices, Conditions and Warranties in Consumer Transactions and Money Lenders and Moneylenders Act.

Chief Registrar of the High Court of Fiji, Ms. Irani Ganga Wakishta Arachchi is the invited Chief Guest. Key presentations will be done by Council CEO Mrs. Premila Kumar, Commerce Commission CEO Mr. Bobby Maharaj and senior managers of the Council.