The Supreme Court is the final appeal court in Fiji. It has exclusive jurisdiction, subject to such requirements as may be prescribed, as and when the need arises to hear and determine appeals from the Court of Appeal. It has the power to review, vary, set aside, or affirm decisions or orders from the Court of Appeal and may make such orders (including an order for a new trial and an order for an award of costs) as are necessary for the administration of justice. The Supreme Court may review any judgment, pronouncement, or order made by it. It has the original jurisdiction to hear and determine constitutional questions referred under Section 91(5) of the Constitution.
In all proceedings before the Supreme Court, questions are determined according to the opinion of the majority.
Its decisions are binding on all the Courts of the State.
Appeals to the Supreme Court
Appeals to the Supreme Court can be made either by way of Petition for Special Leave or with the leave of the Court of Appeal in the first instance. Leave of the Court of Appeal is obtained within 28 days from the date of judgment.
Composition of the Court
Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji; the Supreme Court consists of:
The Chief Justice, who is also the President of the Supreme Court.
Judges appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court.
Justices of Appeal, and
Puisne Judges of the High Court.
Time for Appealing
A ‘Petition’ and ‘Affidavit Verifying Petition’ must be lodged at the Supreme Court registry within 42 days of the decision from which the appeal is lodged.
In the case of notice of appeal leave granted by the Court of Appeal, the appeal must be filed within 42 days from the date leave was granted.
Applications outside the prescribed time
In the event that the time for appeal has lapsed, i.e. 42 days from the date of judgment has passed, the petitioner then has two hurdles – apply for extension of time as well as special leave to appeal.
Appeals in Criminal Matters
The Supreme Court grants special leave to appeal on the following grounds:
A question of general legal importance is involved.
Substantial question affecting criminal justice is involved.
Substantial and grave injustice may otherwise occur.
Appeals in Civil Matters
Supreme Court grants special leave to appeal on the following grounds:
A far-reaching question of law;
A matter of great general or public importance;
A matter that is otherwise of substantial general interest to the administration of civil justice.
Petition for Special Leave & Form of Petition
An application to the Court for special leave to appeal must be made by way of Petition and must:
State clearly all facts necessary and relating to the Petition;
Deal with the merits of the case so far as necessary to explain the grounds upon which leave is sought; and
The Affidavit in Support must verify the allegations made in the Petition.
Security for Costs & Settling of Records of Appeal
The Registrar must within one month of lodging the appeal notify the Petitioner of the sum to be deposited as Security for Costs, this sum should not exceed $5000.00.
This sum may become payable to the Respondent in the event the Appeal or Petition is dismissed.
On receipt of the record of the lower court, notice is issued to parties to appear before the Registrar and settle the contents of the record before compilation by the registry.
The cost of preparation of the record lies with the Petitioner.
Case and Submissions
The applicants are required to file a case in the appeal within one month of notification of availability of record and must state as clearly as possible the circumstances out of which the appeal arises.
Thereafter submissions are filed as prescribed by the rules in the case of both appeals and Petitions for Special Leave.
Powers of a Single Judge
A single judge of the Supreme Court may exercise any power vested in the Supreme Court not involving the decision of an appeal or reference, except that:
In criminal matters, if a single Judge refuses or grants an application, a person affected may have the application determined by the Supreme Court constituted by 3 Judges, who may include the judge who made or gave the order; and
In civil matters, any order other than an order made by consent of the parties, or any direction or decision given in pursuance of the powers conferred by this section, may be varied, discharged or reversed by the Supreme Court constituted by 3 Judges, who may include the Judge who made or gave the order.
In respect of any appeal pending before the Supreme Court, make such orders and give such direction as he or she considers the interest of justice or the circumstances of the case require.
Call over of Cases
During the call over, cases are fixed at least 42 days prior to the first date of hearing. This is to enable compliance of rules in respect of filing of submissions.
The submissions must not exceed 25 pages of typewritten notes.
There is no right of reply to the respondents’ submissions.
Oral Arguments – Time Limitation
At the Hearing of an appeal each side is allowed to present its case in oral arguments no longer then forty (40) minutes.
If the court thinks it necessary to extend the time allocated, it may do so, but this must not exceed fifteen (15) minutes.
A reply to oral argument may be allowed at the discretion of the court for a period not exceeding fifteen (15) minutes.
Process after Disposal
At the conclusion of a case (and delivery of Judgment), the appeal process ends. However, as the Act provides, the Supreme Court may review any judgment, pronouncement, or order made by it.
Judges of Supreme Court
Hon Mr. Justice Salesi Temo – Acting Chief Justice (President of the Supreme Court)
Hon. Mr Justice A H C T Gates
Hon. Mr. Justice Saleem Marsoof
Hon. Madam Justice Chandra Ekanayake
Hon. Mr. Justice Priyantha Jayawardena
Hon. Mr. Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare
Hon. Mr. Justice Priyasath Dep PC
Hon. Mr. Justice Brian Keith
Hon. Mr. Justice Kankani Chitrasiri
Hon. Mr. Justice Quentin Loh
Hon. Mr. Justice Frederik Brand
Hon. Mr. Justice Frank Stock
Hon. Mr. Justice Madan Lokur
Also eligible to sit in the Supreme Court panel are Justices of the Court of Appeal including visiting Judges and Puisne Judges of the High Court (by virtue of S.98 – (1)(b) such other Judges as are appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court, to serve as the occasion requires.)
Calendar to be updated here when dates are confirmed.
Lodging Petition for leave to appeal $109.00
Lodging for any other notice of motion or interlocutory application $27.25
Cost of Supreme Court record $109
to Respondent; and
to Petitioner as advised by the Registrar depending upon the
extent of the record – Rule 
Filing affidavit or document $10.90
Filing motion against taxation by taxing officer/Registrar $27.25