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High Court Civil Registry

The High Court in Fiji has full original jurisdiction in and power to determine all matters and questions, whether of law or fact, civil or criminal. This means that there is no limit or restriction either as to where proceedings should be commenced or how much money can be awarded by the High Court in compensation or damages.

The Court of First Instance has unlimited jurisdiction over all civil matters. Common types of civil proceedings in the Court of First Instance include:

  • Breach of contract
  • Tort
  • Construction and Arbitration
  • Hire-purchase
  • Injunction
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mortgage
  • Personal injury
  • Vacant Possession [169 Application]
  • Orders for Specific Declaration
  • Extension for time of Registration
  • Application to Register charge on Real Property
  • Election Petition
  • Any other matter arising under the Original Jurisdiction of the High Court
  • Garnishee Proceedings

How to Commence a Civil Action in the High Court?

In civil proceedings, one party - the plaintiff - starts a civil action against another party - the defendant - in one of three ways. As plaintiff, you may:

  • Engage a lawyer
  • Seek the help of the Legal Aid Department
  • Start the action himself/herself

Certain types of individuals, for example, infants, mentally disabled persons and the estate of a deceased person, can only commence an action by a representative. A limited company must engage a solicitor to act on its behalf in the Court of First Instance whether as plaintiff or defendant unless special permission is obtained from the Court for it to be represented by a director.

Mode of starting an action

As plaintiff, one can commence a civil action in the Court of First Instance in one of the following modes:

  • Writ of summons
  • Originating summons

Media Release

Keynote Address by Chief Justice Anthony Gates
at the Opening of the Fiji Law Society's Convention
"Fundamentals of Private Practice" 25th September 2015,
Novotel, Suva

Click here to view/download the speech.